Hamilton is honestly my most favorite musical of all time. It told the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States who fought during the Revolutionary War. He had been called many names – an immigrant, orphan, soldier, scholar, banker, etc. – but what made the man interesting was that he lived with so many regrets in life.
Among the highly discussed ones was his one-year affair with Maria Reynolds, a married woman who initially asked for his legal help regarding her abusive husband. When she reconciled with the latter, their romance continued until the husband found out and extorted money from Alexander Hamilton so that the infidelity would remain a secret from his wife, Eliza.
Alexander also regretted allowing his eldest son to go on a duel, which took place because the 19-year-old boy could not stay idle. At the same time, his father’s name was getting tarnished following the revelation of the affair. The other person pulled the trigger and ended up killing young Phillip, but Hamilton could not help but feel guilty about it.
On top of all that, he brought an incredible amount of pain and grief to Eliza. Before she could forgive Alexander for an extramarital affair, her beloved son died. They moved uptown to grieve, and the man felt lost because he could not turn back the time and revive Phillip to make his wife happy again.
I was a bit unclear about how Alexander Hamilton managed to bounce back from his losses, but he did before dying in a duel against Aaron Burr. Although many would say that he lived a full life, it was still filled with regrets, which could not have been good for his mental health.
Keep in mind that a life without regrets results to:
An Untainted Mind
The primary reason why we feel regretful is that we have done something terrible and irreversible. In Hamilton’s case, it was infidelity, among others. He did not want Eliza to get wind of it, so he resorted to lying and offering monetary bribes to his mistress’s husband.
Though “thou shalt not lie” was not among the Ten Commandments, lying could easily be the eleventh. It taints your mind as you need to keep up with the lies to avoid getting caught. The longer you do that, the longer your list of sins becomes.
An Optimistic Behavior
Alexander Hamilton was naturally an optimistic man. Though he was poor and orphaned, he studied every book he could get his hands on and became a lawyer. Even if he did not come from old money, he worked hard to give his family an incredible life. Alexander also spent days and nights creating the US Constitution and increasing the country’s credit score practically. However, his optimism took a dip when he went during the war, his friend John Laurens died, and George Washington stepped down from the presidency, among other things.
Now, Alexander could have regretted a lot of things because of those events. If he stayed in the military, his family could have been wealthy. He could not have saved his friend, but he could have fought beside him. As for Washington, Alexander could have stopped antagonizing Thomas Jefferson so that he would not have thought of running for president. Then, he might have lived with no regrets at all.
A Happy Disposition
When the Hamiltons lived uptown following Phillip’s death, the accompanying songs depicted how Alexander and Eliza seemed to lose all the light in their hearts. They were together, but his wife refused to talk to him for a while, most likely blaming Alexander for their son’s passing. They both could not bear the quietude uptown, but the grief kept them there.
If only Alexander forced his eldest son to avoid confronting George Eacker, a lawyer who said lies about him in public. If only he did not give in to the temptation, his opponents would not have found dirt on him. Then, they would have lived happily as a family.
Alexander Hamilton’s story was one that everyone should know about. He lived a full life, considering he went through hardships before becoming successful in whatever endeavor he put his mind to. His frenemy, Aaron Burr, even talked about how everything seemed to come easy for Alexander in the musical, while he never got to do that. That envy eventually made Aaron agree to go on a duel with Alexander and shoot him, which caused his death.
Despite that, Alexander Hamilton went through a lot of regretful situations throughout his entire life. He tried to make amends to his wife and remaining kids and even Thomas Jefferson (when he ended up supporting his presidency). In Aaron Burr’s case, the musical’s narration explained that Alexander intended to kill Aaron in the duel, but then his kids would not have anyone else.
The next time you hold a ten-dollar bill in your hands, remember Alexander Hamilton’s life and try to live without regrets. Good luck!