So my teenage son and I were lying on our backs on the grass near the football field in the park. We were watching the clouds overhead when he asked me, "Dad, why are we here?" And this is what I said.
"I've thought a lot about it, son, and I don't think it's all that complicated. I think maybe we're here just to teach a kid how to walk, turn two and eat sunflower seeds without swallowing the hulls."
"We're here to pound the steering wheel and scream when we hear Rush Limbaugh on the radio, after someone has changed the station."
"We're put on this earth as born Democrats, to be the only party that can do the right things for all the people.
"We're here to save the rain forest, stop the ozone depletion, to put the government into the lives of all the people of this nation who can't think for themselves, who don't know what's best for them."
"We're here to establish our moral values as the moral values of the majority, to give the Gay and minority population the same rights and opportunities as the Christians, Catholics and Jews."
"We're here to oversee the whole world for human rights violations and intervene only when our quality of life and security are threatened."
"We're here to watch, at least once, as the gun control bill collapses around the Republicans, and there is no time to revive it."
"We're here to see the Bald Eagle take flight, saved by mankind to exist once more well into the next century."
"We're here to protect the Spotted Owl in the Pacific Northwest, and put thousands of lumberjacks out of work. We have to take care of these birds, you know."
"We're here to gamble and buy lottery tickets with our grocery money, but not let Mom know."
"We're here to get into at least one really good brawl, get a nice shiner and end up throwing an arm around the guy who gave it to us."
"We're here to spend our summers down on the farm, hoeing tobacco, driving the wagons, milking the cows, and putting the hay in the barn loft."
"We're here to go fishing with the kids, to put the worm on the hook, take home all of the tiny fish to clean and cook, and still call it a perfect day."
"We're here to nail political signs to telephone poles for our next election, and leave it there.. leave it there... leave it there... forever after the election."
"We're here to train our dog to roll over, so he will never repeat it when we try to show him off to our friends."
"I don't think the meaning of life is to agonize over what comes before birth or after death, but to fill in the dash in between, and to protect young mothers from having to put their unborn through this choice."
"We're here to see our friends try to catch up with us, spend so much time slaving toward the better car, a bigger house, the big day that will finally make them happy."
"We're not here to find a way to heaven. The way is heaven."
"Does that answer your question, son?"
And his son said, "Not really, Dad."
And Al said, "No?"
And the son said, "No, what I meant is, why are we here when Mom said to pick her up 40 minutes ago?"