The Basket

with Peter Coyote

Viewed July 13, 2002

This period-piece depicted Washington state during the First World War, and it focused on the prejudice that some German immigrants experienced from American citizens at that time. Even though it was pretty heavy emotionally at certain points, it "ended good," and we were able to extract some cool questions and discussion from it.

Question #8 grabbed us first, because several of us realized that we're not now (and may never have been) self-confident enough to convince anyone ELSE to believe in us. Until we start believing in ourselves, we sometimes just need to close our eyes and "jump in" to the situations we're afraid of and hope that everything will turn out OK. (Most of the times it has, sometimes it hasn't.)

Someone else tackled Question #6, because he has always wanted to experience that kind of true love, but never quite felt worthy of it. So another person told about her decision to fall in love with herself. She said that it's been going really well most of the time, though at times she's really gotten irritated at her lover (herself) because she said she'd handle her finances well and then she fell through on her promise, and that irritated the hell out of her. So now she's trying to make up with herself, and so someone suggested that she visit a relationship counselor to help the two of them make up.

We also noted that, just like in Question #4, we have often blamed others for our emotions and upsets, even though we now realize that no one else can MAKE us angry or upset -- it's our own thoughts and beliefs and expectations that make us angry or upset. Some of us spent our entire childhood learning to protect ourselves by blaming others, because that's exactly how our parents taught us to behave through their behavior. It was hard for us to get out of that habit until we realized that WE aren't wrong just because our behavior is "wrong." In other words, if we make a mistake, our personal worth isn't affected and we aren't suddenly invalidated as a human being.

Here are the questions:


  1. How have I endured the insensitivity of others?
  2. At what points in my life have I given/received true unconditional love?
  3. Howe have I been affected by my hatred?
  4. How have I blamed others for what I didn't want to see in myself?
  5. How have I broken through preconceived notions towards others?
  6. How can I be worthy of "such a love"?
  7. When I have to choose between doing things for myself and doing things for others, how do I do it?
  8. When I know "I'm ready," how do I go about convincing others?