Hey everyone, tired of me yet? I hope not, and I hope I'm not triggering anyone, but I think it's worth the risk here.

I went to Utah to meet with JD Aliix and many others for a Star Party in 2009. I remember a lot of things about that trip distinctly but one thing stood out. Some cannabis was offered to me, and to JD Aliix. His reply was something like, "Haven't done it for a long time and only partake of the highest quality."

Another anecdote I have, a friend, her mother had issues with respect, she's better now, but she would be very, very verbally abusive, and my friend made her mother realize the damage she was doing by saying something like, "You set the standard for the abuse I'll accept from other people."

Now, to bring this to the Now, my eldest aunt just stepped in about 30 minutes ago, seemingly giddy, walks up to me and pushes my head. It wasn't super hard it was hard enough to put defense mode on a little. I said, "Please don't do that." (I might not have said please)

She said, "What? I'm just saying hi!"

I said, "By pushing my head? Yeah, don't do that."

And she said, "Bye!" and left.

Then there are all the thoughts that go along with an encounter like that. In my head I'm thinking, 'Next time I see her I'm just gonna straight up ask her if she's sadistic.'

In the context of my family I can understand where they're coming from so I don't really judge, or at least feel like I'm not judging. There's an incredible amount of masochism and sadism that has bloomed from decades of pain and fear and egoic struggles mixed with Chinese respect your elders stuff and the burden of having to fulfill that reality, or the pain of not having fulfilled it. (My second eldest aunt is arguably the most successful.)

What I'm talking about here is standards of behavior. What are valid standards? What other forms of standards exist? Standards of beauty is one that comes to mind very, very quickly, standards of cleanliness, standards of ambition, standards of responsibility, dating standards, standards of introduction, scholastic standards.

If, to ace being human is our goal, is my goal, what standards should we uphold and what is the gradient upon which they are upheld?

What are some standards held here? Obviously cursing is discouraged, and I can get with that, if every word you think is essentially a spell, then just why? Another standard I see is nudging towards being unbiased, making sure sweeping generalizations aren't made, that compassion and love and acceptance are opted for first. I'm grateful to be part of a community that holds these standards.

Thinking back to my aunt pushing my head, did she want more attention? Was there any intention behind that act, any longing? When I think of it now, maybe I should have just gave her a big hug. Maybe I should have done the same back to her and just look her in the eye. Maybe I should have verbalized coherently like my friend did to her mother. It has been made clear that the goal here is not complacency. But then I ask, what are the standards against microaggressions and sarcasm and disrespect? Do we see through to the REAL person behind the facade and let it go or do we try to rectify their behavior to preserve dignity? From the perspective of schoolyard bullying, which I have been a victim and perpetrator of, how can we get through? How can we attain the Mastery to adapt to such difficult conditions?

When I was thinking of this thread yesterday night, I was thinking, standards, okay, let's think about it scientifically. Clean rooms, objective chemical/matter standards that allow exact experiences to arise, air quality standards, safety standards, conservation standards.

Yesterday, I was on the driveway with my great uncle who is more like a grandfather, and just seeing him walk towards me felt like the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen in my entire life. Later, lying on the couch trying to muster up that feeling of each successive moment is the most beautiful one yet. So, what are the standards of appreciation? Can thirst for respect turn us cold and self righteous?

About a year ago, I went to eat with my biological grandmother and my eldest aunt, and I was in full on ascetic mode with only a slight irony, and I called them childish, my aunt replied that she thought that was a good thing, and I replied I don't.

So I ask you, what place do standards have in your life? Have you broken free from any standards? Built your own set? With what standard do you hold yourself to? Do you want the best for yourself?

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