Something has happened to some of our boys these days.

I'm going to talk about the lost boys who turn into criminals and mass shooters. It's tempting to say what the politicians say, that the shooter's motive was purely evil, or to blame guns, but that absolves us of looking deeply at what each of us might be missing.

From kindergarten, some of our boys are less ambitious, have no real friends and are lonely. They are neglected to the point where they have very little capacity for feelings. They become disengaged at home and at school. As they grow taller, they feel nothing inside. It's like they've died within. At this point, they can kill without having it affect them because they're empty.

We have a crisis of mental health. ADHD is on the rise, and as these boys become men, their suicide rates go from equal to girls to six times that of young women. It's a crisis of education because these lost boys are 50 percent less likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math and science,

Boys are growing up with less-involved fathers, making money instead of making a difference. They are almost certain to drop out of school, drink and do drugs, become delinquent and end up in a gang or prison.

It's 2019 and we're living in a "purpose void." If you doubt me, just ask them what life is all about or what's the meaning of life? You'll be disappointed in their answer.

But there is an answer! And it just may be the speck of light to start turning things around slowly. It is the story, one of the most famous parables that provides a neglected and overlooked meaning that remains relevant for our boys today. It's the story of the Prodigal Son.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.