One of the weird things about me is that I *enjoy* attending graduation ceremonies. I can understand why others don’t like attending them – they can be very long and require us to sit in uncomfortable locations but there’s something about watching people I love accomplish something and be recognized for it that makes my heart happy. Because I’m a human full of contradictions I hated attending my own graduations. All of them were pure torture.
One of the quintessential parts of graduations is the commencement addresses. I’ve read one before but I wasn’t expecting to read another. Abby Wambach’s Wolfpack: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game isn’t itself an address, but it is based on her inspiring viral 2018 commencement speech to Barnard College’s graduates. It was a unique audience for Wambach to address – Barnard is a women’s college. Wambach chose to focus her speech to these fellow women around one important point: we are not the little red riding hoods of fairy tales, we are wolves who must be present to keep the environment balanced.
Wambach lays out in this short work her eight-point plan, her rules, for empowering women and engaging in team behavior (don’t fall for being the token at the table, don’t fall for the false competition we are put into with each other). Each point is couched in a story from Wambach’s life and experience on and off the soccer field. The rules are simple and forward facing, and the entire tone is positive and inspiring, and easy to start incorporating into daily practice.
- Create your own path
- Be grateful for what you have AND demand what you deserve.
- Lead now–from wherever you are.
- Failure means you’re finally IN the game.
- Be FOR each other.
- Believe in yourself. Demand the ball.
- Lead with humanity. Cultivate Leaders.
- You’re not alone. You’ve got your Pack.