Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rethinking Prince Harry

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. - Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

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.

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1 Comments:

Blogger BrotherMalcolm said...

Jay,

I am both a fellow blogger and Western, PA resident. I moved here in 2002 for a job after a 6 year stint in the Navy. Further, I was also born in London, England so these stories are near and dear to me. Half of my family is English (dad's side), half American, and I am not sure about the rest (Yogi Berra moment).

I saw that your link was to a "blogspot" page so I clicked over - to my surprise my eye caught your bio and "Seneca Valley" popped off the page. So hello there!

I enjoyed the write up on Rethinking Prince Harry. It led me to think of a British lullaby my mum used to sing to me as a child -"Two Little Boys" (by Rolf Harris - who is actually an Aussie). The gist of the song (worth looking up btw) is two boys that pretended to be soldiers as lil mates and then grew up to be real soldiers. They traded off helping each other. One helped the other during child hood when his wooden horse broke a leg causing the boy to get upset, the favor was returned in an actual battle when one of their horses was shot. Point being – many (though certainly not all) male children grow up with society pushing such ideals onto them.

My opinion is that some of this imprinting (if you will) is done innocently and without intent (nurture). Some of it I truly feel is innate (nature). Lastly, some of the programming is done on purpose…and I will just leave it at that.

I will link your story on our page (TooMuchLiberty.blogspot.com). I wish you well and will check your blog to read every now and then.

~Malcolm (mwfrazer@gmail.com)

11:34 AM  

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