When the television first came and people gathered around the shop window to watch, nay-sayers said it would never last. How would people find time to sit and watch something? Call Waiting caused a huge protest. When the guitar first made its appearance on the church platform, people didn’t think of that as sacred. So when this 80-year old steadfastly refused to accept the technology, we laughed.

How many people do you know who refuse to get a computer and adapt? An eighty-year old man sent in a handwritten letter to Quaker Oatmeal’s Best Recipe contest with the recipe to his Hawaiian Special. PepsiCo which owns Quaker, sent him a typed letter in return.

The rules of the contest are as follows:

Please be advised that your letter, with attachment, does not constitute a valid entry into the Contest in accordance with the Official Rules available at,” wrote a representative for PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats Company. (from here)

The 80-year old man was eventually helped by his granddaughter, but it is unclear whether she helped him submit his photo to Fox News or with the recipe. If she helped him with the contest, hopefully, he’ll share the $250,000 grand prize with her if he wins! We can all learn from this episode.

It was not age discrimination. PepsiCo had specific rules. Corporate America operates with technology because it’s the most cost-effective method to do everyday work as well as meeting worldwide demands. Before the internet became so huge, writers sent in large¬†manila envelopes with their manuscripts to be read by editors. Most of these usually ended up in a storage room. You can find pictures online of this! Now email has made things more cost-friendly to writers and easier on publishers. Choosing age discrimination is not a wise accusation; even 90-year olds have Facebook. It all boils down to personal preference.

When asked Smith for the photo seen above, he readily agreed to submit it — by “snail” mail. That’s when his granddaughter, Jacklyn, with her newfangled computer, stepped in to help her grandpa.

The second lesson we can learn from this: The younger generation needs to step in and help the older. It’s an excellent way to get to know the older generation. While you are helping them learn Twitter, you both can talk and enjoy a relaxing afternoon. The older can pass on his wisdom to the younger, and the younger can keep the older young at heart. Usually, rejecting technology is a lack of understanding of its purpose or a yearning to go back to a simpler time.

The mission field is online and face-to-face. You can’t have one without the other, and cost-effective or free computer classes are available to Senior Adults. With the generation gap widening via technology, this is an opportunity for younger and older to work together so the Senior Adult’s faith is shared on a lost and wandering generation.

If you’d like ideas on this, leave a comment or email us! Senior Adults have a special place in our hearts. We’d love to help them find their way online.¬†

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