The Bear in the Window Movement

While the world continues to go into shutdown due to the COVID19 pandemic, the environment around us becomes a solemn, scary place. Now imagine the world through the eyes of a child. Your school is or is heading towards being shut down, you’re not able see your friends or play outside. All you can do is go for walks with your family and play at home. All the simple childlike pleasures outside of the home, stripped away.

Well thankfully a new movement has begun to bring a glimmer of hope to both children and adults alike. Titled the ‘Bear in the Window’ movement, inspired by the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, it encourages people to put teddy bears in their windows to inspire children to get out of the house and to spot them — whilst of course practising safe social distancing. Beginning in Newfoundland Canada by a woman called Kim Bagole it has now stretched the entire globe.

An Australian Facebook page created in response to the movement has attracted over 17,000 bear hunters along with many other local group pages, where members post their sighting of bears in their local areas. Kate Mercer the founder of the Australian Facebook group, mother of four and a primary school teacher says “It’s an idea that costs nothing, it doesn’t rely on any technology and ANYBODY can join in the fun – whether that’s as a giver (putting a teddy in the window) or receiver (finding them on your travels!)”.

Noted from folk wisdom our own wellbeing and satisfaction is heightened through performing random acts of kindness like this movement, meaning it isn’t just benefiting one demographic but all demographics. As Kate stated, “We’ve heard of so many elderly and disabled people who are excited by the idea of being involved in a community event that brings joy to children”.

Which is of pivotal importance, as the pandemic has already shown the negative side of humanity during times of crisis, such as the toilet paper fiasco. That will only continue as fear, uncertainty grows selfishness and hostility so too will intensify in ways that wouldn’t happen without the sense of threat.

So, let’s keep this movement going and promote the sense of community to achieve one common goal. To give children worldwide a reason to smile.

Tuesday 7th of April, 2020

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