“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” This lyric from the final song in Hamilton, captures not only an important question about our history but also about our present.
There are different versions of our histories – within our families, our institutions, our country and our world.
In many ways, it is less important to reconcile our complicated personal and national histories than it is to at least spend some time examining them.
That is exactly what I did in this conversation with Natasha Trethewey in the latest episode of my podcast, Attribution. She is a two time U.S. Poet Laureate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of the very moving, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir.
We talked about our moms and the lengths they go to protect us. We dove into questions of race – in a more nuanced and productive way than perhaps I ever had before. We discovered how wonderful examining our life and our history is – even if what is revealed can be uncomfortable.
Socrates, famously wrote, “an unexamined life is not worth living.” His reasoning was that it is only through examination that we can find meaning.
I hope you take the time to have a listen to this episode. If not, and perhaps better yet, maybe have a conversation where you examine a shared history you have with a friend, family member or fellow citizen.