Once, there was a young man. He had two brothers, and a father. They were all very hard workers. They managed their own land, and were pretty successful, and were very financially well off. One day, the young man started thinking about his life. He started thinking about what would happen if he just stayed in the family business and didn't try something new. He thought about the world, and all the excitement and adventures that were out there that he could have. He wondered if he really wanted to stay on this farm, or if he wanted to go to the big city, and live a life of excitement and partying, like he saw on TV. The more he thought, the more boring his life appeared, the more dull the future appeared, and the more appealing it seemed to leave where he was and go try something much more exciting. He approached his father.
"Dad, I feel like I'm old enough I can make my own decisions, lead my own life. I want to leave. I don't wanna work on the farm anymore. I want to go to the city and live a fun, exciting life."
The father responded, "That's fine. You're right, you're old enough. You do what you want."
"Well, then," said the son, "I want my portion of the inheritance. I need money to do this."
The father thought for a moment. He didn't think his son had been all that serious, until this request. He realized that he was really going to leave, and the father knew about all the dangerous and terrible things that were out there. Finally, though, he conceded, and gave the son his portion.
A few days later, the son was off. The father and brothers said their goodbyes, wished him well, and told him how much they hoped he would return. They were very sad to see him go, but the departing son left with a smile on his face. He was ready for his exciting life.
He got to the city, and soon was involved in the fun party life he wanted. He got introduced to drinking, drugs, and sex. He drank more and more, got into harder drugs, and chased promiscuous women. He lived lavishly, in posh apartments, and would go on expensive vacations, bringing friends along. He had a yacht that would often be the place of parties that had lots of expensive alcohol and drugs. He was finally leading the life he truly desired.
However, pretty quickly, his funds dried up. He spent all his money on parties, drugs, and alcohol. He had no true friends, just hangers-on who used him for his money. He had no true love, just one night stands and women who only associated with him for his notoriety. After all the money was gone, and there were no more parties, the yacht was taken from him, he couldn't pay the rent on his apartment, his friends left him, the women left him, everyone left him. He was left alone, destitute, and depressed. He was addicted to substances he could no longer afford, so he resorted to crime to afford them, and this often led him to trouble with the law. He had diseases, and was sick, but had no way to afford the medical bills. He had reached rock bottom.
Finally, one day, he awoke in a gutter, and realized what a mistake he'd made. It took him a long time to realize it, but now he did, and he knew what he had to do. He started a long journey back home.
After a few long days of walking, the man could finally see his home and the farm in the distance. He was walking along the dirt road, approaching the house, and in the distance he could see his father. His father looked up, saw him, and came running over. He didn't say a word, he didn't scold his son, or yell, or even express disappointment. He didn't say anything. He just hugged his son and cried.
The son began to cry and say "I'm so sorry. I never should have left."
The father responded, "It's ok. You're back now."