A father had two sons. The youngest of these came to him and asked for his inheritance.
“What, would you wish me dead?” he asked him in return.
The youngest replied, “I merely wish to make my own way in this world. Give me my inheritance so that I can be my own man.”
Although it broke his heart the father divided his estate and gave his younger son his portion. The son immediately sold the land for cash and left with the proceeds.
The older brother returned at the end of the day to find their Father depressed. “What has been done to you?”
The Father relayed what had happened and the older brother was filled with bitter rage. “Father, give me my portion of the estate too and I will sell it to raise enough money to pursue my brother and punish him for his crime.”
“But that is not what I wish.”
“Father, If I do not do this then no-one will respect you,” stated the older brother.
“Not even you, my son? Will you not respect me either?” pleaded his father.
“Not even I.”
With a truly heavy heart the father granted the older brother their wish. And this is how it has been since then. One “good” brother searches the globe to punish his “bad” brother. He maintains the cold honour of his father.
Meanwhile the father mourns alone.
Note: If you aren't familiar with it this is an adaption (corruption?) of a parable commonly titled the Prodigal Son. (Luke15:11-32)
I toyed with the idea of changing the father to a mother. To do would make more sense because we would more easily forgive the disrespect of the older brother and be appalled at the disrespect of the younger brother in that situation. Try it and see. It’s easier in our culture to justify as protection, disrespect of a matriarchs wishes, particularly for male sons.
I've also always wondered where the mother is in the original story. I know its a parable but I still think its a legitimate question.
I didn’t change it in the end in order to keep the obvious connection with Luke15:11-32. The piece was after all inspired by this young persons youtube vid. I think she beats up on herself too harshly but I really appreciated her sentiment.