Dave Hutt, www.dmddigitalphot.com
The "prodigal son" is a study in empathy, compassion, and judgement.  With which character do you empathize?  The righteous son who dutifully stays and works with his father?  The same righteous son who objects when his brother’s return is celebrated? The father whose son asks for his inheritance and when his wish is granted, the son spends it on prostitutes and gambling?  The same father who welcomes his errant son back?  The errant son who spends his inheritance having a wonderful time then regrets it?  The same errant son who returns to his father and is forgiven?  I could judge each of them foolish.  I can also identify with each circumstance and that leads me to question my judgmental feelings.  With the compassion of the father as the key, I can empathize and forgive both brothers.  The unsettling part is that I don’t know what the righteous brother ultimately did.  And perhaps that is the point.  What would you do?

--Dave

photo by Dave Hutt, www.dmddigitalphoto.com

3/11/2013 08:38:36 am

Interesting question, one I have not pondered. Now that you again provide the story for me, they are both prodigal sons, albeit for different reasons. Each son had something for which to be forgiven--the first son for obvious reasons, and the second son for his disdain for his father and his brother. My guess is, there were other consequences as well. The first brother probably got no more money, and the other brother kept his inheritance, and probably went "neener, neener, neener" to his brother. But the second brother more than likely had to earn back his father's respect.

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