In the same year, 1992, he edited As the Twig is Bent. In this volume he spoke of the need to think of blind children, to plan for their future and to help them (and blind adults) gain maturity. The "Editor’s Introduction" and his article, "To Park or Not to Park," contain the following information.


by Kenneth Jernigan

There is a well known saying that as the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

What is true of plants is also true of people. The poet Wordsworth said, "The child is father of the man." He meant, of course, that our behavior and beliefs as adults are, to a large extent, determined by what happens to us when we are growing up.

This third Kernel Book is largely focused on that theme-what today’s blind children are being taught about themselves and what happened to yesterday’s blind children, those who are today’s adults. As we of the National Federation of the Blind have so often said, the real problem of blindness is not the blindness itself but the mistaken notions and misunderstandings about blindness which are so widely prevalent in society. The first two Kernel Books (What Color is the Sun and The Freedom Bell) also dealt with this theme, but the present volume has a particular emphasis on blind children and what lies ahead for them. Every day all of us are, at least to some degree, bending the twig that will determine the final shape of their lives.

In this book I have tried to acquaint you with quite a number of blind children and adults, and I have tried to do it at something more than merely the surface level. These are people I know-friends, former students, and colleagues. I think they are people that you, too, will want to know. In the process I hope you will gain an increased understanding of what blind people are like. Mostly we’re just like you. We cry if we have reason to-but not because of blindness. And we laugh if something’s funny-but, again, not because of blindness. Our lives are as varied, as interesting, or as dull as yours. It all depends on how the twig is bent, how the tree grows, and what opportunities and environment we have.

I don’t know how many more Kernel Books we will print, but if this one gets the warm reaction which the first two have received, there will probably be others. Meanwhile the present volume is now being widely distributed, hopefully to do its bit to help improve the climate of public opinion about blindness. Every day we bend the twig.