"A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living." (Luke 15:13)
I wish I knew what motivated people to destroy their lives with the lie, that there is something better out there beyond. The young man had familial support, material benefits, etc. If I were to add more background to Jesus' parable, I would say that the two brothers competed throughout their young lives. The older brother always seemed to do everything right, and the younger brother never felt like he could successfully compare.
No parent is perfect, and the father may have even celebrated too openly the successes of the older son. When the younger son acted out for attention, the father may have said the destructive phrase, "Why couldn't you act more like your brother?!" The phrase is like a punch in the gut. When you cannot compete, or get the attention you think you deserve, flight can feel like the only option.
It wasn't that the younger son hated his father and brother. The ache of his insecurity and shame drove him to leave their sight, in the hope that he could start over, on his terms, and make a new life for himself. He fantasized that he could live high on the money, garner respect and stop the emotional pain. Not surprisingly, the pain and shame didn't leave the minute the father and brother were out of ear shot. So he turned to "dissolute living" to mask the ache. One terrible decision after another, until he had no self-worth left.
Today, think about what the younger brother's decision means to you. Perhaps you had your moment(s) when shame brought on bad decisions in your life. Maybe it was someone you cared about who deteriorated before your eyes, and no one could help them. Pray for the Spirit to bring love and care to your life or the one you care about. Prayerfully remember, this parable ends well. It can end well for you, even at your lowest moment, when you continually turn back to God.