Whatever we face in life, whether in our personal relationships or professional situations or negotiating purchases or pursuing a new passion, we all need to know our bottom line.
I got bullied once into sacrificing my bottom line. A leader I respected bullied me into accepting a promotion I didn't want in lieu of not getting the one I wanted. I resisted, but several attempts were made, dangling carrots in front of me, and finally succeeded by playing on my fear of missing out. I gave in, accepted the job and within a week was full of regret. I hated it, and I was angry with myself for not standing firm.
Now, me and many others are facing even more pressure, persistent bullying, threats even, to cross a line we have drawn for ourselves.
But this time, I'm standing my ground.
This is America. One of the last hopes of personal liberty on the face of the earth. One place where even the smallest individual voice is allowed to speak up without fear. It is the safe haven that people across the world have looked toward to escape tyranny. And as far as I know, this is STILL America.
If I can be told that perhaps I cannot go into a gym or a restaurant without my "papers" - as many across the nation are now facing - I will question what America this is. But there is no threat that can be made to make me abandon my conviction.
In a conversation tonight I was told "all the hardship you're going through will not be as bad as the regret you'll have if you give up on what you believe." Amen.
And many do regret. But of course those stories don't make the news. But many have regret. Many are bitter. I will not be one.
I embrace the support of those who freely have made different choices than me who are vocal about my right to make my own choices as well. We are united... maybe not in our choices, but in how we cherish our freedom to choose.
They will dangle carrots. They will incentivize. They will coerce. They may even threaten. I may lose things, privileges, friends. But I will not let myself down; I will not budge from my bottom line.