Empowerment means showing the way

Have you heard about Kosmos dla Dziewczynek? It’s a Polish magazine for girls aged 6-12yo, a beautiful, wise, and fascinating one. I cooperate with them for almost 2 years now, and it’s one of the things I am most proud of so far.

I never thought I’d write for a magazine called Kosmos when I first started this blog with Cosmos in its name. It wasn’t even in plans for another few years. But when the idea was born, the Kosmos team needed me as much as I needed them, and some powerful cosmic force eventually brought us together.

Even though the magazine is for little girls, I learn a lot from it too.

The most important lesson is about empowerment. When people think about empowerment, the first thing that comes to mind are mentors and role models, and there are plenty of them in Kosmos as well. With the utmost pleasure I told our readers about pioneers in computer science, and some of the things these wise women discovered.

But empowerment in Kosmos goes much deeper than stories of incredible women changing the world, as much as I love these. Every single page, whether it’s a psychology quiz, DIY tutorial, or a historical comic strip, ties into the same core message. You are important. You matter. You are capable of great things. There is a Universe of infinite possibilities waiting for you to explore. The only limit to what you can do is your imagination.

My favorite page in all of Kosmos. It says “You are a child of the Universe, no less than the stars and trees”.

Kosmos doesn’t just say ‘Girl Power’. They show by example how to find this power and use it.

Before you can empower others, you need to find your own power and feel comfortable with it. You need to stand firmly on your own two feet, knowing your value can’t ever be taken away. You need to believe that your actions can make a difference, and take responsibility for the world around you.

This kind of confidence shines through every page of Kosmos, because the women who create it are exactly like this. From their place of strength, they playfully invite the girls for an exciting adventure, and suggest powerful ways to engage with different aspects of reality. They present challenging issues, such as conflict, setting boundaries, poverty, climate change, or war migration from a compassionate, and non-judgemental point of view. This can only be done if you’re able to see the world from such a wholesome perspective yourself.

Equally important is what you won’t find in the magazine.

I knew there was something unique about Kosmos from the very beginning, but couldn’t quite put it into words. Now I think I understand what it is. They choose not to engage with points of view they don’t share.

There’s no debating people on the other side of the fence. No proof of why someone else might be wrong. There are no oppressors that need to be stopped, and no helpless victims. The whole world created in Kosmos is beautiful and supportive, with conflicts and other problems being handled in mature and constructive ways.

No one says “As a girl you can be everything, no matter what some evil people will tell you”. There are no such evil people. They don’t exist. Any claim that a girl can’t do something because of her sex is simply untrue, so there’s no point debating it. Doing this would indicate that this kind of opinion matters in some way. It doesn’t, and we shouldn’t give away our power by treating it like it did.

Instead of fighting what’s wrong, we can bring more of what’s right.

Instead of calling out on mistakes, we can show everyone the way. It’s such an unusual approach that it took me months to understand what is so special about Kosmos. They consistently portray a world where people know how to step into their power, without ever saying someone might not be able to do this. In result, they bring this kind of a world to life.

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