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The Bottom Line

I read a quote from a HONY post (on November 20, 2016, in regard to the presidential election) that said, “We all have our own code of ethics. My bottom line happened to be tolerance. Their bottom line was abortion. Or the Supreme Court. I guess we all have the right to choose our own bottom line.” Well, this post isn’t about abortion. Or the Supreme Court. It’s about that imaginary, ethical “bottom line” that this person refers to, and how this line presents itself (and often magically disappears) in certain situations. I was entranced by this quote after reading, and because of this, I remember instantly jotting it down and thinking a few things:

  1. Is there a bottom line in every situation ever? Is it embedded within human nature to have an ending point? When is enough, enough?
  2. I wonder how many bottom lines someone can actually have (I.e. Bottom lines in romantic start-ups, co-worker relationships, family dynamic, driving on the highway during rush hour, arguing with kids about life stuff, ordering delivery pizza for the fifth night in a row, etc.)
  3. I wonder how many times we revise those bottom lines (if something doesn’t go our way, how often are we willing to compromise? How many times can the pizza boy mess up our order while we keep quiet?)
  4. I wonder how many of us are genuinely aware of what our bottom lines are (are we floating through life and justifying our actions when we are not even sure where the starting point is? Are the bulk of us truly choosing to remain blind to our own ethics?)

These questions were really challenging to ask myself.  I began to imagine so many situations where the bottom line varied and fluctuated and stretched that I instantly became exhausted. And because I know this, I challenge YOU to do the same. Think about a situation that has been stretching your patience thin, and truly ask yourself: What is my bottom line? How far are you willing to have your values and morals invalidated? And at what cost?


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