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What Greek Goddess Athena Can Teach Us About Our Approach to Daily Life

Take a moment to consider the Greek goddess Athena. Ancient Greeks heralded her as a protector of heroes, the patron goddess of Athens, and the goddess of war and wisdom. Myths handed down through the ages tell us that they believed Athena delivered decisive victory in battle and was also a dutiful peacemaker. While fiercely intelligent and knowledgeable of math and science, she was also a master artisan acknowledged by craft and tradespeople as their patron goddess. From the very moment Athena (literally) sprung into existence, she became the essence of duality. Countless worshippers, from warriors on the battlefield to weavers at their loom, looked to her for guidance and protection. 

In this clip from the 2017 ATHENA Awards, Parrish reflects on what makes women so powerful as well as what makes Athena such a fascinating mythical figure. She says, “As women, we draw power in the strength and simultaneous contradiction of that small and simple word ‘and.’” “And” can take two ideas that seem disparate and turn them into something wholly new and multifaceted, like two sides of the same coin.  

Generation after generation of women have pushed society forward and proven that they are far more than neat categorizations and labels assigned to them. Women can be focused on their careers and raise families, be fiery competitors and collaborators, have the beauty and the brains. “And” matters. Organizations like ATHENA International and the Girls Scouts of the USA support girls and women everywhere in their quest to become the leaders and legends of tomorrow. When we find ourselves asking how a woman (or a goddess) can be so many things at once, let’s remember “and” — the three-letter word that holds endless possibilities. 


CircleAround is operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA. The site serves women nationwide by providing content that is uplifting, thought-provoking, and useful. We make revenue distributions back to GSUSA so they can further their mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

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