Could Hamilton be the villain?
A week ago my wife and I were in Chicago to surprise a friend for his birthday. While on the Subway, I saw a sign for Hamilton the Musical....
Wait. "Could we possibly?", I thought. I silently looked it up while my wife peered out of the window at the city. The U.S. tour hadn't hit Atlanta yet so why not? I looked at the prices of resellers and decided it would be worth bringing it up.
8 minutes later and she was on board with the plan. We bought tickets for a Sunday matinee and got hyped.
The production was incredible. I even think the person who played Hamilton was a stronger singer than Lin-Manuel (always hire people who are better, right?) and that made the experience a little sweeter. However, it would've been great to watch the genius playwright and all of the originals during the primary run of the show.
Special effects were on point. Little things that marked time passing and different things that marked walking/riding/sailing to a location. It was all impressive.
All of the cast brought their A-game. Lyrics were clear, the sounds were crisp, the orchestra hit every note. It was awesome.
Realization: Hamiiton is the villain
As the play is going on, it's starting to hit me...this Aaron Burr character is getting the short end of the stick. Everything Hamilton proposes, he turns down, only for Hamilton to be successful on his own. When they end up going head-to-head, Burr loses and it's not even close (except for the fatal duel). Hamilton has a better love life, is more successful, and is more loved than Burr.
Here's an interesting thought. Go through your life and see if you can find a pattern where you are the villain in someone else's story. In life, we have the unique perspective of living our whole lives as ourselves. Put another way, you never get to choose to live life as someone else. That's why empathy is so hard for people (me included).
When you empathize with someone you are able to put yourself in their shoes. Which sounds cliche and easy, but there is a kicker. You have only been you.
If you have an amazing childhood to look back on, but the other person doesn't, how do you possibly empathize? Therein lies the difficulty of it all. People who are comfortable with uncomfortable conversations tend to be the most successful. Even if they lack natural empathy, they feel comfortable asking someone else for their perspective and opinion.
Assuming you are not all that and a bag of chips when it comes to emotional intelligence, consider whether or not you are the villain of someone else's story. This will force you to look at your personal and romantic relationships with others from another perspective. And that perspective could be incredibly revealing.
In doing this exercise, I've found more than a few instance where I was the villain in someone else's story. This allowed me to understand their actions, the actions of the people involved in the situation, and also begin working on myself for similar situations in the future.
Who's story are you the villain in?