We once lived in a Chicago suburb where our home was directly below one of the flight paths to O’Hare at the beginning of the jet age.
As planes carrying hundreds of passengers flew overhead several times an hour, our children, playing outside, took no notice of the roar of the noisy jets – a far cry from days of old when I attended a one-room schoolhouse.
Back then, when we heard a small plane flying overhead, we’d run outside, without permission, risking the wrath of the teacher, to see this marvel. (No, neither Wilbur or Orville Wright was the pilot.)
I thought of a later time in 1961 when Alan Shepherd became the first astronaut to go up for a short ride. I sat anxiously on the edge of my seat as I watched this wonder on television until he was safely back on earth.
Later, as more and more brave men took off for longer periods of time in space, I barely took note of it. We become blasé so quickly as modern inventions appear.
We once lived in a senior citizen development for people 55 and older. The homes were pre-fab homes built in Indiana and then hauled to their location and put into place on the foundations.
We were “pioneers” living there and it was cause for much excitement as another home was moved in and we’d dash out to watch as the home was jockeyed into place on the foundation.
After a while that, too, became mundane. Hardly anyone bothered to watch as time went on and the development prospered.
Years ago, when Henry Ford drove by in his first models, people would laugh and point, horses would rear up on hind legs and whinny.
We quickly accept changes and the extraordinary soon becomes ordinary. We become sophisticates and no more child-like wonder about anything exists. It’s almost as if to say, “What else have you got?”
I remember the late Jack Parr, former host of the Tonight show, telling of his travels to Africa where he showed the natives in the jungle a set of fake, chattering false teeth and also brought a radio, turning it on so they could hear voices speaking. The natives were fascinated by the chattering teeth but not the radio. “Small man in box,” was their explanation.
Conclusion: We are intrigued by the new that we cannot easily explain.