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Prodigal Sons

(26 Posts)
Granny23 Mon 24-Jun-19 16:03:04

Following the threads about Chris Davis, Boris Johnson and Mark Field over the past few days has caused me to think deeply about the issues raised. My thoughts keep returning to the parable of the Prodigal Son. I was brought up as a Christian and although I am no longer a believer I have found the parables - particularly the Good Samaritan - to be good, solid guidelines for those wishing to live as a decent, caring human being.

I have, however, always had a bit of a problem with the Prodigal Son. You know, the one where Son number one, abandons his aged father, squandering his inheritance by indulging in riotous living, until he is ruined, when he returns, seeking his father's mercy.

My sympathies lay with the other Son (though sometimes I thought it more likely that it was a dutiful daughter), who worked hard to take care of the Father and the farm without complaint, nor much reward. This Son was instructed to prepare a huge feast to celebrate the return of the now penniless, prodigal son.

I see so many parallels in today's world, when Celebrities/ Royals/politicians and Senior figures in Business who behave badly are feted and given hours of air time and column inches . Excuses are made for their behaviour and the enormous stress they are under is mentioned.

No such glory for your average, decent, person, working hard to care for their family and bring them up to be good citizens. Some coping with the stress of living in poverty, or just making ends meet, with careful budgeting, while perhaps coping with a disability or caring 24/7 for a child' parent or spouse. These honest people, who used to be considered the 'Salt of the Earth' are now dismissed as, at best, Mugs, Sheep, lacking in ambition or at worse 'drains on society' They are the ones considered feckless when they are unable to afford to buy a house, or dress their children in the expensive prescribed school uniform. No excuses are made for them if they drink to excess, instead they are doubly condemned for spending money that should have been devoted to essentials.

These are my thoughts on today's society. I wonder if many would agree with me?

EllanVannin Mon 24-Jun-19 16:10:37

Excellent post Granny23, and so true !

Gonegirl Mon 24-Jun-19 16:12:41

I agree about the prodigal son of the bible. Always going bought that was ridiculously unfair.

Can't say I see a lot of what you mention currently in society though. I think most hardworking people, including those at home acting as carers, are usually lauded by their fellows. Whether they are rewarded financially is another matter, of course.

Gonegirl Mon 24-Jun-19 16:13:09

thought! Not bought

Gonegirl Mon 24-Jun-19 16:15:42

It's like Mary and Martha in the bible. Mary being the favourite whilst Martha did all the domestic duties. So unfair!

Oldandverygrey Mon 24-Jun-19 16:34:41

Jesus said love one another as I have loved you. Food for thought.

sodapop Mon 24-Jun-19 16:49:49

I always thought that about the Prodigal son and Mary & Martha. So unfair.
It happens a lot in real life too, how many people care selflessly for relatives but the Golden One is the person who only visits infrequently and does nothing useful to help.
I agree with your post Granny23 it always bugs me when decent people have to struggle for every penny or recognition of their role.

suziewoozie Mon 24-Jun-19 16:53:13

But oldandverygrey we don’t, do we?

love0c Mon 24-Jun-19 17:19:45

'The more you do, the less you are thought of'. A very famous saying. Such a sad shame it is so true.

Jane10 Mon 24-Jun-19 17:24:12

I agree. It sometimes feels ridiculously unfair. I always hope for karma. What goes around comes around. As ye sew so shall ye reap etc etc

Oldandverygrey Mon 24-Jun-19 17:26:48

Suziewoozie - I do my best, even when it comes to my DIL!

Granny23 Mon 24-Jun-19 17:28:44

oldandverygrey I am still waiting for an indication that Jesus Loves Me. Nonetheless I do try to love my neighbours. It is not difficult - all my neighbours are good, decent, helpful people.

Calendargirl Mon 24-Jun-19 18:18:58

I so agree about the Prodigal Son. Seems so unfair that the hard working stay at home son is expected to welcome his wastrel brother with open arms. Obvious that he was always the father’s favourite. Bet he was spitting feathers at the welcome home party.!👿

GillT57 Mon 24-Jun-19 19:07:08

It is funny, but I have always thought the parable of the Prodigal Son to be very unfair ( when I was a child) and contrary to encouraging hard work, steadiness, unselfishness and other such good human qualities ( when I grew up). I think that one may have backfired somewhat and I remember discussing it in quite a heated way with my mild mannered Sunday School Teacher. I was incensed with the unfairness of it!

Gonegirl Mon 24-Jun-19 19:07:14

Granny23 flowers x

Jane10 Mon 24-Jun-19 19:08:36

I used to be worried about that mote and beam in the eye story.

M0nica Mon 24-Jun-19 19:32:41

The father in the bible may have had a party because his son had returned, but he didn't replenish his inheritance, the share that was already the second son's, who had looked after it, remsained his. The father only celebrated because he was so glad to see his son again.

How many on GN have a child close at hand and a child a long way away? Don't you have a big family clebration when the child living in Australia or wherever, comeshome on a rare visit? How often does the son down the road get a party like that?

Bordersgirl57 Mon 24-Jun-19 23:58:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BradfordLass72 Mon 24-Jun-19 23:59:51

I'm not sure I agree with the sentiments expressed about the caring people being seen as mugs and worse.
It's true that the press say so - but if we are wise, we don't blindly follow or repeat reactionary nonsense like that. At least I hopes we don't - no one I know does.

Granny23 You obviously don't subscribe to these specious, negative opinions as you say your neighbours are lovely.
Most of us have neighbours, friends and acquaintances who are lovely but struggling, caring for others, watching literally every penny or even forced to claim benefits. Do we dismiss them as mugs, drains on society?
I don't think so.

If we all felt like this we wouldn't donate to charities, or volunteer our time, or give to food banks, or the thousand and one other things we do to help our communities and society aka real people in need.
We help one another and if we have compassion, we don't judge. We just give.
We could even say, 'help = love'.

Just what Jesus intended.

NotSpaghetti Tue 25-Jun-19 00:13:37

So true M0nica
Note to self - be more obviously appreciative of people close to me.

suziewoozie Tue 25-Jun-19 16:26:04

Granny23 I’ve just come home from seeing Sometimes, Always, Never. (Bill Nighy). Have you seen it ?The theme of the prodigal son and especially the other one who stays at home runs through it - along with other themes. It is one of the finest films I’ve seen in ages and towards the end there is a scene with the father and stay at home son where they are playing scrabble in the dark by the light of their iPhones where the latter says something on the lines of ‘ and this is what the non-prodigal son got - days like this with his family’. I cried at this point - the film was such a hymn to the simultaneous ordinariness and extraordinariness of family life, the human condition all in the face of a great sadness and grace and redemption. Nice twist on the prodigal son theme - he didn’t know what he was missing.
There were also some laugh out loud moments, deft directorial twists and amazing cinema photography.
Apologies for massive derail

suziewoozie Tue 25-Jun-19 16:29:32

And on the way out from the venue we passed a massive hall jam packed with people giving blood, waiting to give blood and recovering from giving blood and I thought - this is what we should celebrate - this amazing goodness of so many of us. And I felt that our politicians just don’t deserve us

Day6 Tue 25-Jun-19 16:43:39

Good OP Granny

I am more fortunate than some, but still on life's hamster wheel, peddling furiously just to get nowhere fast. My parents had it even harder but struggled on, for no reward - just death before retirement for my hard-working Dad, and no real pension for my widowed Mum.

If you have little, you feel it even more when the chips are down. If life slaps you it is much harder to get up.

We all depend on the goodness of others, or at least society around us being caring and enlightened. It makes the world a better place if we can, as Jesus taught "Love one another"

I am not sure why the Prodigal Son was rewarded for his feckless ways, but I suppose the message of not giving up on a selfish-spendthrift may apply. I am not sure he would get much sympathy from me if he were a sibling, especially if he had been favoured over me on his return. Could lead to family rows I suspect! grin

It's a bit like us having to sympathise with a person living the high-life by maxing out all their credit cards and then going broke. If it were family I wouldn't cold shoulder them, I suppose. I'd welcome my sons back into the fold, but they'd get some ear-ache about being irresponsible and stupid - If that isn't in the Bible I'd like to know why not - and they'd have to work their way back to solid foundations. I think that would be a more sensible and caring approach from any parent. A feast? No way.

Day6 Tue 25-Jun-19 16:44:25

Good posts suziewoozie I'll look out for that film.

lemongrove Tue 25-Jun-19 16:49:35

I agree Bordersgirl57 the parable was simply illustrating that a loving Father (God) was delighted that a ‘son’ had returned to him and forgiveness is possible at any stage.