Mazel Tov, William and Kate.
The royal baby, the future King of England, sure has a lot to live up to. Don't we all?
Huge crowds gathered outside the gates of Buckingham Palace yesterday where the birth was officially announced. The Queen was especially thrilled with the newest addition; this is the first time in over 120 years that a current monarch is greeting a great grandchild born in direct succession to the crown.
Kate and William’s child is third in the line of succession, shifting Prince Harry to fourth and the Duke of York to fifth. The baby received the title of His Royal Highness, Prince of Cambridge and he will be a future King. He is in line to become future head of the armed forces, supreme governor of the Church of England and head of the Commonwealth, which covers 54 nations across the world and consequently head of state of 16 countries.
These are heavy expectations for a baby. He has entered the world with a customized mission already engraved in his soul. Before the baby even took his first breath, there was a list of positions and duties awaiting him. Prince. King. Head of the armed forces. Supreme governor of the Church of England. Head of the Commonwealth. An enormous calling for such tiny shoulders.
But the truth is every soul carries a unique mission engraved upon it before it comes to this world.
Each child is an extraordinary, irreplaceable creation. We don’t know who each of these children will become. Maybe they will live up to their potential. Perhaps some will choose not to do so. But at the moment of each birth, an intricate, crucial list of goals awaits each of them. Before any of us took our first breaths, our life missions were carefully sculpted, waiting for us to come to this world and realize them.
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis writes:
All of us are shaped, molded, lovingly designed by God and imbued with unique gifts. Just as no two people look exactly alike, although they may share the same physical attributes, similarly no two souls are alike. We are not mass-produced but custom-made by our Heavenly Father with a higher purpose that only we can fulfill. Before God ever created us, He had a clear picture of exactly what He envisioned us to be.
Our sages teach that each of us has a letter in the Torah that reflects our souls and one of the reasons why these letters must be distinctly separated from each other is because we each have a unique mission that only we can fulfill. God actually makes a portrait of what He intends us to become and equips us with the necessary tools with which to realize His purpose.
All of the test, trials and tribulations of our lives are orchestrated by the One Above so that we may fulfill this goal, and if you wonder whether you have what it takes to succeed in this mission, be assured that God never makes mistakes – the very fact that it is He Who created you is proof positive that it is within your capability to fulfill this charge. (Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, Life Is a Test, p.27)
When my husband and I were dating in college, I never brought up my family. For most of my life I had been known as the Judge’s daughter, and I wanted to be myself. No titles. No expectations. After a month of dating the question finally came up. What do your parents do? After what seemed like a long pause, I finally told him.
“My father is a lawyer, and my mother is a New York State Supreme Court Judge.” He looked confused for a moment.
“Why didn’t you tell me before?” he asked. I told him that I didn’t want to live my whole life as "the Judge’s daughter." I wanted to create my own identity, not to be defined by someone else’s.
And then my husband-to-be said something that I’ll never forget.
“It’s doesn’t have to define you, but it will always be an important part of who you are.”
The families that we are born into are tools in our missions. Our personalities, our looks, our strengths and our weaknesses are all part of what we each are given to fulfill the exclusive mission of each of our souls. The royal baby has entered this world with a special, honorable place awaiting him. But it will be up to him to actualize the royalty inside of him.
And it's the same with us. We are all children of the King. We all have royal lineage. We may have titles and labels attached to our identities, but we are ultimately defined only by our choices, by how we accomplish the mission designed for each of us before we took our first breath.
As the world celebrates the birth of the future King of England, let us remember that inside each of us is a royal soul, waiting to actualize its extraordinary potential.