Rethinking Prince Harry
This afternoon, news broke on the Drudge Report that Prince Harry has been serving with British troops in Afghanistan, and has even taken part in gun battles (photos). The young prince is third in line to the throne of the English monarchy. I remember reading news stories about his intention to serve in Iraq, and the ultimate decision to keep him out of combat due to fears that al Qaeda or an insurgent group would attempt to kill or kidnap the prince. Why would someone with so much to lose enlist in the fight against a deadly and ruthless foe? The answer has its roots deep in the masculine soul...
To some of my female readers, this may seem like machismo, but there is a ferocity, a wildness, and need for battle that surges just beneath the surface of man's outer life. In our modern, civilized world, men tend to feel, well...tame. If you have ever watched a tiger pacing back in forth in a cage at a zoo, you'll get a tiny inkling of what many men feel on a daily basis. There is a boredom that comes from feeling trapped in the machine of the average life. They wake up in the morning, go to work, manage accounts, try to keep the peace in their families, and after watching the news, fall asleep and dream about adventure.
Every man (and woman) experiences a call to adventure, to set out on a journey that will test our beliefs and our limits. Whether we accept the call or bury our hearts in the monotony of busyness makes all the difference in the world. Prince Harry has embarked on his own Hero's Journey. It may cost him his life, which would devastate a family that has already suffered much grief. I ask you, though, what is the alternative to following your heart?
When you have a moment, read The Initiation of Perseus.