Begin Today to Feel Included, Not Excluded

Christyl Rivers, Phd.
7 min readAug 20, 2020

How to use your angry feelings to spark real knowing within yourself and your community

Photo by Joan Villalon on Unsplash

On the street where I live

Last week there was a small demonstration on a street corner near where I am currently living. It seems that there had been an incident at this convenience store. The protesting group was demonstrating for Black Lives Matter because days earlier, four men in a large black truck flying a Trump flag and speeding, chased down a Black teenager, cursing, and calling “racial slurs.”

This, is anyway, the scenario we were told. We were out to say bullying and brutality are non-acceptable ways to approach children or teens.

I joined the demonstration. But, unlike the huge swell of people in Portland, Oregon lately, this was just a very small clump of anti-racists on a busy street corner. Most people honked, waved, and gestured to us with “thumbs up,” or offered fist in the air solidarity gestures. But a few scowled angrily, shouted “ALL lives matter,” and/or they asserted that they were better patriots, “MAGA”, or “Trump will win.”

Expressions of how the angriest people felt were very evident on both sides. Swear words and name calling erupted with every dissenting car. This deeply saddened me.

Seeing an older woman call a younger woman an “F word, B word,” unsettled me. Seeing a young man call one of the older people there an “F word Moron,” (or any of the many variations) was upsetting.

Again, I want to emphasize that most people were either supportive or neutral. Only a spiteful minority objected to the peaceful protest. And only one or two of people demonstrating “on our side” felt it comfortable to curse, at, or insult, those also hurling venom from passing cars.

I felt offended that on both sides, people were tossing curse words, casual insults, and dirty looks. This part of it seemed very counterproductive to me.

I tried to put myself in the minds of people behind the glares, scowls and seething feelings.

This is deeply red, rural country roads only out here. I know that there are deeply divided political viewpoints, but I also know that these same people will be shopping side by side, working…

Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.