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Say Yes to Invitations

Late Thursday night, I get a text from a friend. It’s a link to an Origami class happening from 10 am to 1 pm. I hesitate. There’s so much to do as we’re gearing up for the launch. I tell him, “Sorry, no I won’t be able to make it.”

Friday morning I wake up to the feeling that I really and truly want to go. I email the organizers and decide that if I’m not meant to go then there won’t be space in the class or they won’t get back to me.

At 9 am I get the message. There’s space for you. I grab my laptop and head out.

On the way I wrestle with the guilt of taking time away to do something as frivolous as Origami folding. But I’d been struggling to focus the day before and also felt restless and impatient. So I tell myself what I’d tell a friend, “Take the break. Be kind to yourself.”

It’s pouring rain and the wind is blowing a gale. The workshop is being held in a place called Potters Work.

I am 10 minutes late. But I’m telling myself to drive carefully. It’s not worth speeding and risking anyone’s life for being 10 minutes late.

I arrive and meet my friend and a few other people. Kyoko, our instructor is a  soft spoken Japanese lady. She starts by telling us the story of how she came to teach origami.

When she moved to South Africa in 1992, she remembered the origami that she learned as a child. She taught her own kids and saw how they enjoyed it and wondered who else she could touch. She decided to go to the prison nearby and she started teaching origami with the incarcerated youth. She said she never thought they would take to it in the way they did. She continued going week after week until the prison authorities said that because she didn’t have a formal certification she wasn’t allowed to teach anymore.

After that, many people would have given up, but she found schools in underprivileged areas and started to teach origami there helping children learn the joy of concentration and precision to realize beauty.

For the second time in two days my heart is touched by someone’s kindness and selfless service to others.

If you know someone you would love to pay tribute to feel free to tell us about them and why they touched or inspired you.

And as for my inner Hero, I thanked myself for:

  • being brave enough to take time to fill up my own cup because as they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup
  • being wise enough to not speed eventhough I knew I was late for the class.

May you too make space and time to care for yourself so you can show up as your best possible self for yourself and the ones you love.

Are you feeling unfocused or a little bored, or maybe just curious? Why not try your hand at folding your own version of the True Local Heroes mascot, (video instruction here) take a pic and tag us on instagram. We would love to see your creation.

Oct 14, 2023 | By Lara Pienaar


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