What a Life

Much has been written about Prince Harry’s service in Afghanistan and all of the attendant hoo-ha. I won’t link to all the stories as there are far too and it would be hard to know when to stop. However, there are a few thoughts that come to mind as a result of all of this. The first is that I’m impressed by the man. He obviously wanted to do the job he was trained to do and wanted to be working with his colleagues – and there seems to be a great deal of mutual affection and admiration between Harry and the men he works with (“the blokes” as he called them in his interviews). It is interesting to contrast this young royal, who was willing to put himself in harms way even though he could easily have avoided it, with the current generation of politicians who send other people to war when they have no experience of it themselves.

But the thing that really struck me was this simple quote from Harry:

“It’s very nice to be a sort of a normal person for once. This is about as normal as I’m ever going to get.”

He was living in a war zone, being fired on, not able to wash eating horrible pre-packaged food and yet he was happy to be living a normal life. It was normal because there were no paparazzi following him around and no obvious privilege – he was treated just like other people (though not every soldier has a three man armed guard). On the radio he could tease people (and flirt with the women) without them knowing who he was – he was just another soldier doing his job. Of course, all it took was one website to blow his cover – why couldn’t they leave him alone? I do like the cartoon from Matt in the Telegraph today.

What sort of life is it for Harry, that he has to go off to the front line to get a slice of normality? He is richer than I can ever dream of, doors will open for him around the world, he won’t ever have to worry about paying his mortgage or where the next glass of champagne is coming from – but the poor fellah can’t have a normal life.

I’m impressed – he didn’t hide from his responsibilities even though he could easily have done so. On the other hand, I feel very sorry for him. I grew up in a council house in an industrial city and I’ll never be rich – but I have the privilege of a normal life and that is worth far more than all that Harry’s money and fame bring him.

Musing on the contrast between Harry and myself brings home Jesus words: And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Mark 8:6). The whole world is at Harry’s feet – but he has to go to Afghanistan to get some simple peace and normality. Let’s pray for prince, that he might come to know the Prince of Peace.

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