As a young child I read the book and thought it was a story with a happy ending. Young boy chooses to leave his family, goes to a far away land, lives out his fantasy and then heads back home.
Caught up in the excitement of the new movie, I went to the bookstore and read the book again. This time the story had a totally different meaning to me. When I finished reading it, I thought: “Huh, I kind of remembered this book having a happy ending?”
Being somewhat older since my last reading of the book, and maybe somewhat wiser, I saw 2 different perspectives on the book.
Referring to parable found in the bible:
Jesus tells the story of a man who has two sons. The younger son asks his father to give him his portion of the family estate as an early inheritance. Once received, the son promptly sets off on a long journey to a distant land and begins to waste his fortune on wild living. When the money runs out, a severe famine hits the country and the son finds himself in dire circumstances. He takes a job feeding pigs. He is so destitute that he even longs to eat the food assigned to the pigs.
The young man finally comes to his senses, remembering his father. In humility, he recognizes his foolishness, decides to return to his father and ask for forgiveness and mercy. The father who had been watching and waiting, receives his son back with open arms of compassion. He is overjoyed by the return of his lost son!
I shall quote Timothy Ferriss to explain this perspective:
“The New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design (LD).
I’ve spent the last three years traveling among those who live in worlds currently beyond your imagination. Rather than hating reality, I’ll show you how to bend it to your will. It’s easier than it sounds. My journey from grossly overworked and severely underpaid office worker to member of the NR is at once stranger than fiction and — now that I’ve deciphered the code — simple to duplicate. There is a recipe.
Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to 9-to-5 drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep-it-short-or-get-fired vacation.
The truth, at least the truth I live and will share in this book, is quite different. From leveraging currency differences to outsourcing your life and disappearing, I’ll show you how a small underground uses economic sleight-of-hand to do what most consider impossible.” – Timothy Ferriss, Introduction to ‘The 4-hour Workweek‘.
The story although extremely short, maybe one entire paragraph, is powerful. Who was Max? A wreckless youth, a waster? Or a genius, a creator? You choose, more importantly than what we think of Max, we get to choose what we are. People’s perceptions of us matter very little, It’s all about what we think, and then what we do with our thoughts. Max is an example to us good or bad. The story has a happy or sad ending depending on how you look at it. He is either the returning prodigal or the quitting entrepreneur. Either way, “Let the wild rompus begin.”