I, like many around the world, have been absolutely smitten by the Broadway Musical Hamilton. I’m mildly obsessed for multiple reasons and I’ve not yet had the fortune of seeing the show (right now it costs a fortune to get a ticket). If you want to see a snippet of this brilliant show then do yourself a favor and click here.
Beside the true story of the homeless, penniless and fatherless founding father who looks at us from the ten dollar bill, the most inspiring thing about this musical to me is the fact that it is a single individual’s “one man band.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, over a seven year period, wrote the show, wrote the lyrics, wrote the music, produced the show and played the leading role (who was going to tell him he couldn’t have the part?).
As I regularly enjoy the fruits of his creative energy (it’s all Piper and I listen to when we drive together) I’m inspired by the fact that Miranda has found a way to offer his best to the world. Is he becoming filthy rich due to the show’s success? I imagine and surely hope so. However, I make up in my mind that the art itself (and not its results) served as his end goal. All the success (again I make up in my mind) is an unintended benefit (or at least a benefit that could not be controlled).
I’ve been asking myself a question that I think everyone should constantly ask:
“How can I, for the remaining years of my life, offer my very best to the world?”
This question is constantly on my mind and I’m very sure that, at the moment, the world isn’t getting the very best of me.
One week from today, my family and I will be traveling to spend four days with the poorest of the Dominican Republic’s poor. I hope that we all learn something there about who we should be in the world.
Recently, I’ve found myself becoming a fan of cliches. It’s a strange admission because I’d usually describe the use of cliches (in writing and in every day conversation) as lazy, non-creative and thoughtless.
Still, cliches are growing on me because, unlike many stereotypes, cliches often represent plain statements of truth (and truth trumps creativity every time).
One cliche that seems fitting as I consider how to offer my best to the world is this: “The enemy of the best is the good.”
So I ask myself another question:
“What are the good things I must set aside so that the very best has an opportunity to climb to the visible surface of my life?”
Does it mean that I stop focusing my time on selling boxes, bags and other pretty packaging? I don’t know. Maybe.
What would it take for the world to get the best that you have to offer with the years that you have left?
Whatever comes of the Dominican Republic experience and however I answer this question for myself, I hope that I can, without inhibition, find a way to offer my version of Hamilton to the world.