What Millennials Can Learn From Prince Harry

This past week the entertainment and tabloid news industry has been abuzz about the unfortunate news of Prince Harry wearing his birthday suit while he was in Vegas. While I’ve never been one to search high and low for physical evidence of reports of nude photos of celebrities, apparently people can make a living off this sort of thing making headlines.

I want to avoid adding to the fever pitch of something hardly newsworthy in my eyes, but I found some analysis of the event to be worth considering.

Harry, as a 27 year old, is right in the middle of the Millennial generation. This is a generation quickly developing a reputation for its lack of care for privacy, boundaries, or perception.

It seems Millennials go through life with the motto of, “Live your life and let others deal with the ramifications.”

A Washington Post story on Harry and his Vegas escapades captures this quite well (thanks to Ross for sharing it):

Aside from his royal status, Harry, 27, is also a millennial, that generation of twenty-somethings and teenagers who hide little and don’t shy away from splashing the most personal details of their lives online. Various media outlets, especially in Britain, scolded Harry, saying he should be old enough to know better. Certainly, he should, but the millennials are a bragging generation. If they do something wicked and wild, they want their peers to know about it as soon as possible.

They almost want to get discovered whether it’s sending naughty sexts, indulging in drugs or driving while intoxicated. No vices or secrets are off limits.

I don’t look down on Harry or point the finger at him. I believe we are each a few short steps from making decisions and mistakes far worse than that of Harry. My own life is a reflection of this. I am both a picture of beauty and brokenness from one moment to the next.

What we can do is look at the impact something from one evening can have on life.

Consider two lessons this event highlights for us:

Not Everything Must Be Shared

Nor should it be.

Think of Mary after the birth of Jesus in the manger. In Luke’s account, shortly after the birth, a group of shepherds come to honor and worship this newborn boy. In response to this event Luke says, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

What grace. What wisdom. During such a poignant moment in history. Mary cherished the moment as a small family of three.

Could she have awoken the town with the wonderful news? Certainly.

The desire to be discovered can easily lead to our downfall though. (want to tweet this?)

Some things are meant to be privately held moments.

The Past Bears Weight on the Future

Coming from my Christian worldview, I tend to view life through a lens that sees the destructive power of sin. Sin is not neutral. Meaning, sin in the present moment makes us even more prone to wander in the next (I’m speaking here of our choice to sin, not our nature that remains sinful).

Our decisions in each moment have ramifications on the future. We are each developing a personal and a public reputation for how we view ourselves and how others view us.

This does not mean we live without freedom. God follows us into the depths of our darkness, but He desires for us to run to Him at the expense of pursuing sin. We can’t have it both ways.

Sin subtly pulls us away from the life God desires for us to live.

What other lessons come to mind?