Once again I’m traveling – this time on Delta, with a live stream mini TV on the back of each headrest. As the plane lifts off and ascends Atlanta, I see the light of the mini TV sets begin to glow. My neighbor across the aisle is tuning into the George H. W. Bush funeral.
I dig for my ear buds and plug them in. In my haste I have a learning lapse and can’t figure out how to get the TV on. The young man sitting next to me tells me to just touch it. I feel old and dumb. I want to tell him I own an internet company and use a touch screen lap top, but I don’t. Our generational gap widens as he engrosses himself in reruns of mainstream TV shows and I watch the live Presidential funeral at the National Cathedral.
Watching the funeral, I see all the living Presidents in attendance, paying their respects to the man and the office he held. As you can imagine, the speeches are wonderful and inspiring. Listening to George H. W. Bush’s life stories makes me want to strive harder and be a better person. I note some of the descriptive attributes and phrases:
- the youngest fighter pilot in WWII
- the last President to serve in the military
- a family man
- a jokester
- a hard worker
- a loyal friend
President George W. Bush is the last to speak. He tells stories that are both funny and heart-warming. At the end of the service, he speaks of his admiration and love for his father and shares George H. W. Bush’s last words. He then breaks down into tears and so does everyone on the plane. The flight attendants appear in the aisle offering tissues, saying this is a first.
The following evening, I’m off to see Hamilton, an acclaimed Tony award winning play in New York City. Again, I listen to a man’s inspiring life story. Again, I’m inspired and moved by an average man living an above average life.
Hamilton was an immigrant, a bastard child, who served with George Washington, signed the Declaration of Independence, wrote 51 of the 85 Federalist Papers and was our country’s first Secretary of Treasury. Our current banking system still uses the laws and rules he wrote.
The American composer who wrote, choreographed, directed and originally acted in the play, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has given America a gift for all time. He’s melded our history into an art form. His creativity seems other worldly, as if he is the archangel for the arts.
I so wish the whole country could see Hamilton or hear the eulogy of George H. W. Bush so they too could be broadened and inspired by the telling of another person’s life. Both men served, worked hard and made no excuses for themselves.
Often, it is the average citizen, the poor or the immigrant that do the remarkable. No more excuses, Americans.
P. S. I would be remiss not to share with my readers and give a shout out to the ladies of Broadway Tours in Little Rock, Arkansas, who every Spring and Winter put together this amazing, 4-day trip to New York City. They arrange your air fare, lodging and tickets to 3 outstanding plays. These days, it’s about the only way you can get a ticket to Hamilton. Your days are free to do as you please. You can creep on their Facebook page too.