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Teddy and the Bear

The hunting party chained the bear to the tree so the President could shoot him. The hunters felt sorry for the President for they have been on the hunt for three days, and the President had not bagged a bear. President Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot the bear, claiming that it was bad sportsmanship.

Two weeks later, a Brooklyn candy shop owner placed a toy bear in his store window in honor of the President’s fair-minded feat, crowning the toy the “Teddy Bear”. When Margaret Steiff, a German seamstress, heard about the incident, she, named her bear “Teddy”, too.

In 1903, the Teddy Bear was born throughout the globe. It became a symbol of fair play, given to children as a symbol of life won through fairness. In 1906, Teddy Roosevelt became the first American to win the Nobel Prize for negotiating peace in the Russo-Japanese War.

In this new year it is my prayer that we all do our best to remember the lesson of the original Teddy Bear : aim not to conquer, but to live fairly.