Meditation for Thursday of Week 13 in the season of Sowing

Keeping Eyes On the Prize

We further empower ourselves by identifying our goals clearly, and focusing on them.

People may have goals but if they are scattered in their intention, those goals will be harder to realize. Keeping one’s eye on the prize refers to focusing on one’s dreams, or goals.



Film and Stage

On the shadow side:

Music: Composers, artists, and major works

Frederic Rzewski’s magnum opus for solo piano, 36 Variations on “The People United Will Never Be Defeated” (1975) (approx. 57-64’), could easily be placed under “Unity” or “Strength,” because its pervasive attitude, expressed, through the solo voice, conveys the idea of strength through unity. It could also be placed under democracy, or human rights. I have chosen this work to represent the virtue of remaining vigilant and focused on a cherished goal or ideal. The work is a set of variations on a simple, hummable theme. “Rzewski was a strong advocate for the Chilean people during the oppressed times of the 1960's. Rzewski wrote this piano collection as a revolutionary anthem in response to Allende coming into power in 1969. Though Rzewski was a prominent figure in the avant-garde movement, this composition allowed him to step outside of the complexities of modernism and write accessible music for a specific purpose.” “In the aftermath of the military coup that deposed Allende, the song became a call to action for the resistance in Chile, and soon spread around the world. It has been recorded, paraphrased, and sampled in many forms and languages, by artists ranging from jazz bassist Charlie Haden to Thievery Corporation and Big Sean in the U.S. alone; still current, it was sung in Cantonese by the protesters in Hong Kong . . .” “. . . the real power . . . is not the song, arresting ear-worm that it contains, but its logic. A listener knowing neither the song nor its context is faced with a classic series of variations on a theme, realized through an abstract classical construction.” Because the theme remains to prominent and so easily identifiable throughout the work, this composition best represents the virtue of keeping eyes on the prize. Top recorded performances are by Ursula Oppens in 1976, Yuji Takahashi in 1978, Frederic Rzewski in 1986, Frederic Rzewski in 1991, Ralph van Raat in 2008, Kai Schumacher in 2009, Ole Kiilerich in 2012, Corey Hamm in 2014, Igor Levit in 2015, Stephen Drury in 2017, and Vadym Kholodenko in 2022.

In any work of theme and variations, the idée fixe (fixed idea) is the core.

In three compositions, Max Reger added a twist, with a fugue (wandering).

Other compositions:

Johnathan Blakeis an influential drummer known for his resolute actions and instinctive reactions.” His albums include “Trion” (2017) (113’), “Homeward Bound” (2021) (43’), and “The Eleventh Hour” (2012) (68’).

Music: songs and other short pieces


And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.

[from Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”]

This Is Our Story

A religion of values and Ethics, driven by love and compassion, informed by science and reason.


First ingredient: Distinctions. What is the core and essence of being human? What is contentment, or kindliness, or Love? What is gentleness, or service, or enthusiasm, or courage? If you follow the links, you see at a glance what these concepts mean.


This site would be incomplete without an analytical framework. After you have digested a few of the examples, feel free to explore the ideas behind the model. I would be remiss if I did not give credit to my inspiration for this work: the Human Faith Project of Calvin Chatlos, M.D. His demonstration of a model for Human Faith began my exploration of this subject matter.


A baby first begins to learn about the world by experiencing it. A room may be warm or cool. The baby learns that distinction. As a toddler, the child may strike her head with a rag doll, and see that it is soft; then strike her head with a wooden block, and see that it is hard. Love is a distinction: she loves me, or she doesn’t love me. This is true of every human value:

justice, humility, wisdom, courage . . . every single one of them.

This site is dedicated to exploring those distinctions. It is based on a model of values that you can read about on the “About” page. However, the best way to learn about what is in here is the same as the baby’s way of learning about the world: open the pages, and see what happens.

ants organic action machines

Octavio Ocampo, Forever Always

Jacek Yerka, House over the Waterfall

Norman Rockwell, Carefree Days Ahead


When you open, you will see a human value identified at the top of the page. The value changes daily. These values are designed to follow the seasons of the year.

You will also see an overview of the value, or subject for the day, and then two columns of materials.

The left-side column presents true narratives, which include biographies, memoirs, histories, documentary films and the like; and also technical and analytical writings.

The right-side columns presents the work of the human imagination: fictional novels and stories, music, visual art, poetry and fictional film.

Each entry is presented to help identify the value. Open some of the links and experience our human story, again. It belongs to us all, and each of us is a part of it.

latest from

The Work on the Meditations