The Several Worlds of Pearl S. Buck: Essays Presented at a Centennial Symposium, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, March 26-28, 1992

By Elizabeth J. Lipscomb; Frances E. Webb et al. | Go to book overview

thus warmth and mercy and justice for the one and the few will extend to all. . . . It is not too much to say that what one family does with and for its retarded child in time may change the world. (pp. 144-149)

Pearl Buck changed the world in many ways, and not least by the way in which persons with retardation are regarded by their families and by the community at large. At the end of The Child Who Never Grew, she wrote:

So what I would say to parents is something I have learned through the years and it took me a long time to learn it, and I am still learning. When your little child is horn to you not whole and sound as you had hoped, remember this is still your child. Be proud of your child, accept him as he is and do not heed the words and stares of those who know no better. This child has a meaning for you and for all children. You will find a joy you cannot now suspect in fulfilling his life for and with him. Lift up your head and go your appointed way.

I speak as one who knows. (pp. 58-59)

I, too, have spoken as one who knows. Our daughter was born 8 June 1981 with Down Syndrome. Her parents were able to lift up their heads, to be proud of her, to accept her as she is. Pearl Buck's courage to share her story continues to affect persons with disabilities and their families. There was a special purpose for Carol Buck.


Acknowledgments

I am deeply indebted to Judith Vogelback and to the resources available in the Emma Edmunds White Collection and the Nora Stirling Papers, Lipscomb Library, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, for access to unpublished materials.


Notes
1.
Pearl S. Buck, The Child Who Never Grew ( New York: John Day Company, 1950), 11.
2.
Quoted in Theodore F. Harris, Pearl S. Buck: A Biography ( New York: John Day Company, 1969- 1971), 1: 119.

-98-

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