Prodigalism? It seemed like a good word, especially as I thought of this “dynamic” of a man being a prodigal son.
However, I did a bit of a search online … and I didn’t come up with much … In fact, a description of “prodigalism” seems to be elusive, like the prodigal.
Maybe a more accurate title for this post would be: “Men & The Prodigal Sons”. The best reference I have to what a “prodigal son” is about comes from a biblical reference, Luke 15. It’s actually a good story.
You don’t have to be religious to read the story, thankfully. Otherwise, I would not have been able to read the story, since … I am not religious.
What I am … is … a prodigal son. I’ve told folks “I was a prodigal son for ___ years.” But, it hit me, recently … I still am a prodigal son. It gets confusing, because some would say I am a good dad; some would say I am a good husband. My thoughts on that? I’d like to be a good dad, and a good husband, and I try to do so.
But it does not change the reality that I have been a prodigal son since I was about 21 years of age. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the boy came to his senses, and he returned home to his dad. He humbled himself before his dad … and things turned out somewhat okay. The older brother was ticked, because the younger brother had come back and was forgiven, and he got his old room back, and a new robe … etc.
The difference is that I went back to visit my folks numerous times, but I never stayed. I kept leaving. And that, my friends & associates & fellow writers & fellow readers, makes me a prodigal son. I really wanted to plug in this other picture / painting about the Prodigal Son because I think it is the best. Rembrandt painted it. I don’t know who painted the other 0ne. One ironic piece in this is that Rembrandt painted a whole bunch of canvases, but he died penniless. Why? because he was … a PRODIGAL ! Fascinating, eh?
Well, let’s get this prodigal post home. Men have a number of angles to approach this “prodigal son” dynamic.
More individuals have been moving further away from home over the last … thirty? … years. We also know that there are more fractured relationships today between fathers and sons than what was the case forty to fifty years ago, yes? And it is more common these days for boys to grow up fatherless. There are many fortunate men such as myself who can say, “No, that’s not me … I had a dad growing up; and we were close.” But, even though I have a dad, and even though we get along, I’ve lived in Colorado for the last 27 years, and he has lived in Louisiana his whole life.
For men, if there is any Prodigal Son stuff happening, it can stir up some anguish, ambivalence, guilt, and other peculiarities. And, it can affect our relationships. If we are prodigal sons, I know it does not mean we are jerks, or selfish, or loners, or party-animals. But, I’m not really sure what it means. It means something, but I don’t know the whole story. Maybe that is the key word: “story“. It is part of our story. And our story, has hope. And our story, is still being written.