Meditation for Tuesday of Week 39 in the season of Fulfillment

Being Confident

Confidence is the thought-element of faith. Often this is an intuitive thought, which is easily confused with an emotion. When we think an effort may work out, we could say that we have confidence in it. When we think highly of a person’s ability to bring about a desired end, we are confident in that person, at least for that purpose.



Visual Arts

Music: Composers, artists, and major works

Clark Terry was a United States jazz trumpeter whose recording career spanned from 1955 until 2015, producing an extensive discography and playlist. Influenced, perhaps, by Davis/Evans birth of the cool, and throughout his career, his playing displayed a quiet confidence and Faith in himself, in his surroundings and in his fellow players.

Violinist Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst (1812-65) composed numerous works for his instrument, accompanied by piano. Their hallmarks include mutual support and reliance, underlain with a sense of confidence, each voice in the other.

In addition, two of Ernst’s works for violin and orchestra:

Confidence in self and in each other (fellow players) characterize Dvořák’s two piano quartets:

Similarly, Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp in C major, K. 299, displays a genuine confidence that does not boast or strain to impress. It just is.

Walton, Violin Sonata (1949): the violin confides in the piano, then they move forward together.

Two Indian ragas:

  • Raag Dhani is a Hindustani classical raag played during daylight hours (performances by Koparkar, Chaurasia and Sahasrabbudhe).
  • Ragam Hansadhvani (Hansadhwani, Hamsadhvani, Hamsadhwani) (translated as “the cry of the swan”) is a Carnatic ragam usually performed in morning or at the beginning of a concert (performances by Amonkar, Banerjee and Sharma).

Lester Young was a jazz tenor saxophonist whose playing illustrated that confidence is not ostentation. “I don't like a whole lot of noise — trumpets and trombones. I'm looking for something soft. It's got to be sweetness, man, you dig?” “. . . despite a short life which was beset by ill health and personal problems, the influential jazz musician left behind some of the most perfectly melodic solos of all time.His penchant for changing musical styles several times throughout his career, and improvising on the spot, further reflect his confidence.

Similar to Young in style was Brew Moore, another jazz tenor saxophonist whose life was too brief. He was effusive in his admiration for Young.


  • Peter Anderson & Will Anderson, “Correspondence”, with Kenny Barron, Ben Wolfe and Kenny Washington
  • Paul Bley, “Modern Chant”, with David Eyges and Bruce Ditmas
  • Sol Gabetta and Bernard Chamayou, “The Chopin Album”: foreshadowing Chopin’s cello sonata on our day of Reliance, “there’s a lightness of touch and an ease that is utterly beguiling”. [Harriett Smith, Gramophone magazine, November 2021 issue, p. 50.]

From the dark side:


Did you ever see an alligator
Come up to the air from the mud,
Staring blindly under the full glare of noon?
Have you seen the stabled horses at night
Tremble and start back at the sight of a lantern?
Have you ever walked in darkness
When an unknown door was open before you
And you stood, it seemed, in the light of a thousand candles
Of delicate wax?
Have you walked with the wind in your ears
And the sunlight about you
And found it suddenly shine with an inner splendor?
Out of the mud many times,
Before many doors of light,
Through many fields of splendor,
Where around your steps a soundless glory scatters
Like new-fallen snow,
Will you go through earth, O strong of soul,
And through unnumbered heavens
To the final flame!

[Edgar Lee Masters, “Arlo Will”]

Film and Stage

  • Sing Street is a film about a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, both from broken families, living in Dublin during the hard times of the mid-1980s. The boy is a gifted singer and lyricist, and the girl is gorgeous and outwardly self-assured. Together, they create a futuristic popular band, and, the film suggests, a life with each other.

Fictional Narratives

Cosette, as we have said, was not frightened.  The man accosted her. He spoke in a voice that was grave and almost bass.  "My child, what you are carrying is very heavy for you."  Cosette raised her head and replied:--  "Yes, sir."  "Give it to me," said the man; "I will carry it for you."  Cosette let go of the bucket-handle. The man walked along beside her.  "It really is very heavy," he muttered between his teeth. Then he added:--  "How old are you, little one?"  "Eight, sir."  "And have you come from far like this?"  "From the spring in the forest."  "Are you going far?"  "A good quarter of an hour's walk from here."  The man said nothing for a moment; then he remarked abruptly:--  "So you have no mother."  "I don't know," answered the child.  Before the man had time to speak again, she added:--  "I don't think so. Other people have mothers. I have none."  And after a silence she went on:--  "I think that I never had any."  The man halted; he set the bucket on the ground, bent down and placed both hands on the child's shoulders, making an effort to look at her and to see her face in the dark.  Cosette's thin and sickly face was vaguely outlined by the livid light in the sky.  "What is your name?" said the man.  "Cosette."  The man seemed to have received an electric shock. He looked at her once more; then he removed his hands from Cosette's shoulders, seized the bucket, and set out again.  After a moment he inquired:--  "Where do you live, little one?"  "At Montfermeil, if you know where that is."  "That is where we are going?"  "Yes, sir."  He paused; then began again:--  "Who sent you at such an hour to get water in the forest?"  "It was Madame Thénardier."  The man resumed, in a voice which he strove to render indifferent, but in which there was, nevertheless, a singular tremor:--  "What does your Madame Thénardier do?"  "She is my mistress," said the child. "She keeps the inn."  "The inn?" said the man. "Well, I am going to lodge there to-night. Show me the way."  "We are on the way there," said the child.  The man walked tolerably fast. Cosette followed him without difficulty. She no longer felt any fatigue. From time to time she raised her eyes towards the man, with a sort of tranquillity and an indescribable confidence. She had never been taught to turn to Providence and to pray; nevertheless, she felt within her something which resembled hope and joy, and which mounted towards heaven. [Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (1862), Volume II – Cosette; Book Third – Accomplishment of a Promise Made To a Dead Woman, Chapter VII, Cosette Side By Side With the Stranger In the Dark.]

Colonel Grangerford . . . was as kind as he could be - you could feel that, you know, and so you had confidence.  Sometimes he smiled, and it was good to see; but when he straightened himself up like a liberty-pole, and the lightning begun to flicker out from under his eyebrows, you wanted to climb a tree first, and find out what the matter was afterwards.  He didn't ever have to tell anybody to mind their manners – everybody was always good-mannered where he was.  Everybody loved to have him around, too; he was sunshine most always – I mean he made it seem like good weather.  When he turned into a cloudbank it was awful dark for half a minute, and that was enough; there wouldn't nothing go wrong again for a week. [Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1906), Chapter XVIII, “Why Harney Rode Away for His Hat”.]

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.

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