Competence brings a sense of accomplishment. For some people, it is confirmation of self-worth.
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Susan Harter, “The Perceived Competence Scale for Children,” Child Development, Vol. 53, No. 1 (Feb. 1982), pp. 87-97.
- V. Vedul-Kjelsǡs, H. Signundsson, A.K Stensdotter and M Haga, “The relationship between motor competence, physical fitness and self-perception in children,” Child Care Health Dev. 2011 Jun 27.
- Jennifer Crocker, Samuel R. Sommers and Riia K. Luhtanen, “Hopes Dashed and Dreams Fulfilled: Contingencies of Self-Worth and Graduate School Admissions,” Pers Soc Psychol Bull September 2002 vol. 28 no. 9 1275-1286.
- Marc Chagall, Self-Portrait with Seven Digits (1914)
- Marc Chagall, Self-Portrait with Easel (1913)
- Paul Gauguin, Self-Portrait with Mandolin (1889)
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Slambovian Circus of Dreams, “Look Ma, No Hands”
- Johann Sebastian Bach, Solo Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, bwv 1007: (6) Gigue
- Johann Sebastian Bach, Solo Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, bwv 1012: (2) Allemande, (5) Gavotte
Film and Stage
- Breaking Away, a film about succeeding against resistance
- The French Connection, about a highly effective New York City narcotics cop, Eddie Egan
- Bambi: alone in the woods, the child survives
- Kiki’s Delivery Service: a young girl has her powers restored but in a new way as she enters adulthood
- How to Train Your Dragon, a cartoon fable in which the young hero comes into himself
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier” (1819): a gift of a grand piano inspired Beethoven to compose this sonata.
- Stéphane Grappelli was Django Reinhardt’s violinist, then had a long career on his own after the gypsy guitarist died. Grappelli played with a distinctive style, characterized by lilting swing rhythms and a carefree feel that belied the technical intricacies of his playing. His playing conveys a sense of consummate self-assurance, born of the confidence that comes from mastering a skill so fully that it seems he could do it in his sleep. Here are links to his “Young Django” album, a live performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1984, another live in San Francisco, still another live in New Orleans in 1989, conversation and performance with guitarist Martin Taylor, and a program of tribute on BBC.
- Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell also captured the essence of self-assurance in his music, in a completely different way from Grappelli. His playing displays a relaxed self-assurance, in contrast to Grappelli’s more energetic riffs.
- Glière: Horn Concerto in B-flat Major, Op. 91 (1951)
- Fauré, 6 impromptus, Opp. 25, 31, 34, 86, 91, 102.
- Bach, C.P.E.: Cello Concerto in A Minor, Wq170
- Hasse: Cello Concerto in D Major (1725?)
- Hertel: Cello Concerto in A Major (1755): 1. Allegro ma non troppo; 2. Larghetto; 3. Allegro ma non troppo.
- Hertel: Cello Concerto in A Minor (1759): 1. Allegro con spirito; 2. Adagio poco andante; 3. Allegro.
- Alkan, Concerto for Solo Piano in G-sharp minor, Op. 39
- Weinberg, Flute Concerto No. 1 with string orchestra, Op. 75 (1961); Flute Concerto No. 2 with orchestra, Op. 148 (1987): 1. Allegro; 2. Largo; 3. Allegretto
- Weckmann, organ works (performances by Rampe, Zerer, Zerer and Davidson)
- Julius Röntgen, Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 20
- Ryan Cohan, “Another Look” album: an exceptionally free-and-easy jazz set that does not compromise intricacy and technical detail.
Other children’s books and novels:
- Cynthia L. Copeland, Cub (a children’s book) (Algonquin Young Readers, 2020): “The work frees her. When she’s armed with a notebook and camera, the anxiety stomachaches go away and she is at ease, even bold.”
A chaplain in the army,
A chaplain in the prisons,
An exhorter in Spoon River,
Drunk with divinity, Spoon River
Yet bringing poor Eliza Johnson to shame,
And myself to scorn and wretchedness.
But why will you never see that love of women,
And even love of wine,
Are the stimulants by which the soul, hungering for divinity,
Reaches the ecstatic vision
And sees the celestial outposts?
Only after many trials for strength,
Only when all stimulants fail,
Does the aspiring soul
By its own sheer power
Find the divine
By resting upon itself.
[Edgar Lee Masters, “Ezra Bartlett”]