My recently launched website www.papersharks.org is my latest project in an effort to raise awareness and support for shark conservation.
In the tradition of folding 1,000 origami cranes (千羽鶴) in the hopes of making one’s wish come true, I have designed origami patterns for folding paper sharks … naturally with the wish of saving sharks! As a personal project, I am folding 1,000 paper sharks (千羽鶴) and updating the site with my progress. I have also created downloadable patterns and tutorials, and a collection page where people can upload photos of their finished paper sharks to show their support for shark conservation. It’s still a work in progress, and I would like to expand parts of the site to include a gift shop, etc … but this is at least a start.
I realize that the whole idea is kinda lame, but hey, that’s what I’m all about 😉 I have been frustrated for a long time that the vast majority of shark conservation groups out there have nothing that people like me can do to help. I understand that more outspoken, social people can make a greater difference since they can directly influence others, but surely there is something that people like me can do as well. Granted, people like me may never make much of a difference, but even those of an “inferior” skillset can make *some* difference, especially when they join together.
So a couple months ago, after a recent failed attempt (I had contacted a shark conservation group to volunteer & ask whether there was anything someone like me could do to help … I never even received a response), it got me thinking about the types of things I’m good at, and I was reminded of a classic movie …
Lucky: “In a way, all of us have an El Guapo to face some day. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo, for others a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big dangerous guy who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santa Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be the *actual* El Guapo.”
Villager: “We want to defend ourselves, but how?”
Ned: “By using the skills and the talents of the people of Santa Poco. This is not a town of weaklings! You can turn your skills against El Guapo. Now, what is it that this town really does well?”
Villagers: “Hmm … hmm, umm [long pause] …. We can sew!”
Yep … it’s something like that. So I have decided to fight my personal El Guapo (those who are driving sharks into extinction) by using what skills I have … even if they happen to be just as lame as sewing.
“Sew, very old one! Sew like the wind!!”