Staring at the new gate 

I just finished reading a story about autonomous cars. And I am now afraid to leave my home. For those of you who may not know what autonomous cars are, let me explain. Autonomous cars are cars that are completely autonomous. Isn’t that frightening?  

Just kidding. It’s not. It’s the self-driving cars that scare me. And why shouldn’t they? Imagine robot cars all over the road. Driving all fast and changing lanes without looking or signaling. Or maybe even driving all up on your rear end as your going 75 mph in a fast lane down the highway. 

Oh wait. I’m thinking about actual cars driven by actual humans. 

Maybe self-driving cars aren’t that scary at all. By the way, I do realize that autonomous cars and self-driving cars are basically the same thing. Basically. 

The thought of self-driving cars is both exciting and a little bit scary. Maybe scary isn’t the right word. Maybe it makes me anxious to think about it. Probably because it’s so new. I don’t understand how they are going to work. New things do that too me. 

The preacher at my church a long time ago use to have a saying, “He was looking at it like a calf staring at a new gate.” Every time he said it we would all laugh and laugh. Most of us didn’t actually understand what that meant, but we would laugh nonetheless. 

Actually if you ever been on a farm, you might have noticed that little baby cows — or bulls — do kind of get that far-a-way look in their eyes when staring at something new, like, for instance, a new gate. They don’t know what to make of it. Human babies do the same thing. If you don’t believe me, watch a two-month old human child as you try to explain Newt Gingrich. That baby-child will look at you like a calf staring at a new gate. 

New things are scary. I imagine the first time people started really contemplating that aero-planes might actually be able to take us from one coast to the other that it was scary. Really scary. 

“We will never be able to fly from New York to Cal-i-for-NI-A in one of those contraptions,” they thought as they sat around the radio on Saturday nights listening to The Newt Gingrich Show. They couldn’t fathom something so “out there” so “futuristic.” Now we fly all the time. In less than 100 years we have gone from a man with giant feathered wings jumping off a barn to taking an Uber to the airport and landing in Madrid, Spain in less than 24 hours. 

That’s a calf staring at a new gate kind of stuff. 

New is hard. But new is fun. Raise your hand if you want to go back to not flying or not getting on the Internet or not taking Uber or having to listen to The Newt Gingrich Show. Now that would be terrifying. 

It’s probably better just to embrace new technology. Embrace anything new. Except that woman in the grocery store line, don’t just go embracing her. She might do a little more than stare at you like a calf staring at a new gate.  

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