An eighth grade teacher’s influence on “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda

This week is Alexander Hamilton’s birthday, and this week Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of the Broadway hit musical Hamilton opened a 23-show run in Puerto Rico to raise funds for artists and arts institutions in Puerto Rico, especially important in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

On CBS This Morning, Lin-Manuel Miranda (the creative genius behind Hamilton) got a surprise video greeting from his 8th grade teacher, Dr. Rembert Herbert.

Dr. Herbert said this in his greeting:

“Lin, this is your old English teacher, Dr. Herbert, here. I’m sure you didn’t imagine when you were in the eighth grade and set some of ‘The Chosen’ to music that it would lead you where you are today but congratulations. I’ve heard a lot about what you’re doing in Puerto Rico, and I wish you well in those endeavors and continued great success down there.”

With tears in his eyes, Lin-Manuel told CBS News’ David Begnaud, “Dr. Herbert’s the reason I’m sitting here talking to you.”

He continued, “I wrote a musical instead of doing my homework for his class in eighth grade. He said, ‘You could be good at this, and you should stop hibernating in my class, and you should be doing this.’ Because we had a student-written theater club at my high school and Rembert’s the one who nudged me in that direction and he sort of changed my life forever with that.”

I share this story because it makes me wonder where would Lin-Manuel Miranda be today without those encouraging words from Dr. Herbert.Dr. Herbert’s seeing the gift in Lin-Manuel and nudging him to stop hibernating and hiding out are lessons we can take to heart in our own lives.

Where in your life are you hibernating?

I would bet that there’s something that you’re really good at, and there’s a passion for life that’s burning inside you.

I would also venture to guess that there’s a joy and aliveness in you that’s wanting to be shared, expressed and experienced more fully.

And I would also guess that in some part of your life, like in Dr. Herbert’s class, you most likely are doing someone else’s idea of homework that’s been assigned to you, whether that’s working in a job you don’t like or saying yes to things that don’t light up your soul.

The Universe is nudging me to ask you:

Where are you being called to write the musical in your heart and share more of who you are called to be in the world?

I encourage you to ponder these questions and take them to heart, because the world is calling for you to show up more brightly and joyously, just as you truly are.

With that, let’s wish a big happy birthday to Alexander Hamilton!

And let’s give thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda for shining a light on both his and Hamilton’s gifts with the world.

Now let’s shine a light on yours.

Abundant Blessings and Namaste.

If you didn’t know, my partner Richard and I got to see the Hamilton musical last year and go backstage to meet the actors afterwards. If you’d like to see pictures from that night and read more about the spiritual lessons shared from the actor who played Hamilton, please visit this post here.

I’d love to hear if your thoughts about today’s post. Let me know by leaving a comment below. Feel free to give some “claps” while you’re at it!

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I’m a spiritual life coach at where I help people create a practical and joy-filled spiritual path to career and financial freedom.

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