“We are here to love. There’s no room for hate. We are just one human race. We must rise above. We are here to love. There’s no time to waste anymore.

Lenny Kravitz

The birth of Venus mythology has her rising from the sea fully formed and laughing – a breath of fresh air for a troubled world. Botticelli paints her emerging from a shell fully formed – evoking the journey of a pearl where an oyster bathes an aggravating grain of sand in loving kindness until it becomes a thing of beauty. Venus is here to lift our hearts and minds to love of the highest order. In the re-imagination above, Birth of Oshun (2017) by Harmonia Rosales, Rosales gives us the Birth of the Yoruban Goddess Oshun. She too is a loving nurturer of humanity. Legend has it that without her intervention humanity would not have survived.

As Valentine’s Day nears I am contemplating how these universal messages of divine love – from a pantheon of goddesses including Oshun, Venus, Isis, Attabey, Frigga, Ishtar, Hathor, Parvati, Nugua, Aphrodite, Pachamama, and more – have been hijacked by commercialism. And while we should indulge in gifts and dates with our sweethearts freely, it’s also a nice time to contemplate the broader view of love for humankind.

Lenny Kravitz’s “Here To Love” was chosen as the theme song of the UN Office of Human Rights #FightRacism campaign. The message of shared humanity is meant to inspire people to take action in combating the global spread of hate speech and racism, with an emphasis on respect for human rights. It’s a beautiful message and a moving video. I’ve made it my personal mantra. See below for three suggestions from this year’s Human Rights Campaign to learn, speak, and act upon.

Here to Love (2018) UN Peace Anthem by Lenny Kravitz
  • Learn – Engage with the difficult histories of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance through storytelling.
  • Speak up – Use social media to support those who are victims of discrimination. Engage with #FightRacism and #LearnSpeakUpAct content.
  • Act – Join with those fighting racism, discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including UN Human Rights mandate holders, civil society organizations and relevant successful social media campaigns.