I've been posting on BN for a number of years, and it's now the first site I look at in the morning. It's not the most important site — stories in the mainstream media about war or peace, cruelty or kindness, and despair or hope seem more significant to me — but it's where I look first. Part of it is because I recall the joy and excitement I felt as freshman so many years ago, but the larger reason is because I treasure being a part of this community. And that's due to so many members who want to make this a better world (directly through their concern with UCLA itself and indirectly with the contributions that UCLA graduates will make on many levels.
So I thought about this day, which is memorable to so many people, Christians and non-Christians alike. New beginnings, contrasted with relationships that we cherish for years. The format is old, but the chapters are always new. And I thought about something else as well: Without exception, the writers on Bruins Nation endorse the principle of dignity for all people, regardless of ethnic or racial background and regardless of sexual orientation. That goes way beyond UCLA athletics and is a call to live our lives with decency, in the deepest sense of that word.
With that in mind, two opinion pieces I've seen recently seem particularly worth reading. The first is a column by Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post. I would not willingly intrude on the separation we observe between sports and politics, but I'm glad I read her analysis of the remarks by Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty." The other opinion piece was written by Brian Blomster in the Sacramento Bee and concerns the Washington Redskins. (Frankly, I cringe just using the term.)
I'm sure all religions have messages of peace and respect for others, and I'm equally sure that Bruins Nation will continue to be a leader in seeking a better world.