A Letter to the Middle East

This is a letter to the people of the Middle East, just from a regular, average North American person with no political or religious affiliations or interests. Simply one individual, speaking to another individual through this letter, representing the North American way of life and culture, reaching out to you and your way of life and culture.

First of all, we do not hate you. The average North American person doesn’t have a hatred towards people of the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, or any other country. We don’t hate you and we don’t want to destroy you. We don’t. We don’t want war. We don’t want your suffering. We don’t want your persecution. We don’t want any of these negative things that may or may not be happening to you. We are shown distorted images from our media. We are shown that you hate and fear us, consider our culture backwards. Our leaders, who manipulate us into fighting these wars for corporate interest, perpetuate an image of you being backwards and hating us and fearing us. They encourage us to hate and fear you.

The truth is, the common person doesn’t feel this way. The average person doesn’t feel this way. We don’t want our countries to go to war. We don’t want our country to attack yours in order to gain access to your oil. We’d rather not need that oil. We’d welcome technologies, advancements, alternatives to gasoline and fuel. We really would. We’d welcome changes that would improve your lives. We don’t hate your religion or your way of life. The average person is too busy trying to survive and navigate through our own life, our own world, our own culture, to worry about hating you. We don’t. In fact, we accept that you have a different culture or different beliefs or different religion, and that we may be based on different beliefs, but we’re still basically human beings. We can still find common ground if we focus on what we have in common, instead of what sets us apart.

We’ve all been victimized by our leaders; our religious leaders, our political leaders, our business leaders. They’ve created a situation where our hatred and distrust of each other can build a fortune for them to profit from and live comfortably. They never have to worry about the daily suffering of the people beneath them. We’ve been misled on both sides. We’ve been misled by our leaders and encouraged to not learn about each other, to think of each other as backwards, and to hate, fear and distrust each other. They want us to see each other as the enemy, but we’re not.

Both of our cultures have already been infiltrated by corrupt, greedy people who have manipulated and perverted our systems, our cultures, and our way of life into hating each other for their own profit, but we don’t have to continue. We don’t have to listen to them. We don’t have to follow these dogmas that we’ve been taught. All we have to do is say no. All we have to do is not believe in hatred. Anyone who’s encouraging you to hate or fear or kill somebody else because they have different beliefs than you or they’re different from you in some way is working against the common good of the human race.

We may have different beliefs, different cultures, different systems, but that doesn’t mean that we need to hate each other. We can honor our culture, we can honor our history, and still accept others having different beliefs. We don’t need to be held back by the past or mired in old thinking. We can move forward. We can honor our culture. We can honor our history and not be held down by it and respect the beliefs of others. Both sides of this equation can do that, should do that, and need to do that. By letting them divide us we are allowing those who have corrupted our ideals to profit on our suffering. We don’t hate you, we don’t want to kill you. We’re not lining up in droves to volunteer to be soldiers to be sent over to your country and disrupt the stability of your nation or your way of life.

Many of those that are sent there do so because they are already living in poverty where they’re from and the military is their only option. In many cases they have been brainwashed by our dogma into believing that you hate and fear them and want to kill them all. Yet, some are still good upstanding people who have been told that you are being oppressed by your existing system and that we need to go there and help you. I expect that if you were in the same situation, one of those motivations could inspire you to do the same or to hate us or want to commit some sort of act of terrorism to lash out at our society. Killing innocent civilians doesn’t make a difference, it doesn’t matter to the people in charge on either side. Your leaders don’t care if our citizens are killed by your citizens and vice versa.

They have figured out a way to perpetuate an ongoing clash. Anyone trying to encourage you to hate, murder, or kill because of someone’s differences, they are artificially creating a division between humanity because they want to manipulate, profit and gain control from it. In reality, the average person, the common person regardless of our beliefs should be working together. If we did, it would greatly compromise the control and the power of our leaders and that’s why they want us to fight each other. It’s going to be up to us. The average regular citizen, the regular person, we are the only ones who are going to make a change, because we have let our political, religious and business leaders be in charge already. We’ve already seen the results they get. Their results cause our suffering, our imprisonment, our wars, our enslavement.

They’ve had lots of opportunity. We’ve given them a chance, we’ve seen what they’re capable of doing and it is not good enough. We need to reject that way of thinking, that leadership. Not to establish our own, but to come together for our common survival, to agree that we don’t need to hate and kill each other based on petty differences. We need to believe that we have more in common than we have differentiating us, because we do. We want to be prosperous, we want to be happy, we want to be safe, we want to be able to feed and clothe ourselves and our families. We all want the same thing and we’ve been pitted against each other. We’ve been put at war against each other for other people to profit from, so that all of the wealth, all of the food, and all of the clothing can be controlled by them and had by them, so they can spend thousands of dollars on a shirt.

We can’t afford several dollars for one shirt. There’s something wrong with that. Don’t let people convince you that you need to kill someone in order to somehow atone for things or make things right or to have your voice heard. The best way to have your voice heard is to speak up and to tell people your beliefs, to stand up and question those trying to pose you against another group. How do you benefit from it? Anyone trying to get you to kill, attack or destroy other human beings is manipulating your feelings and insecurities for their own profit. The solution isn’t to kill or destroy our leaders, simply to stop supporting them, select new ones. Put humanity, put mutual survival as higher importance than religious groups and religious dogma. You can have your beliefs, you can respect other’s beliefs and they can respect yours, but we don’t have to kill each other over them.

It’s more than just that. We are all brothers and sisters of humanity. We love you. I’m sure on some level, though it may seem a lot to say, you love us too. Regardless of what your beliefs are, most religions believe that we were made by a creator and that whatever God makes is beautiful or whatever your God happens to be and makes is beautiful. I know that’s a simplification and it’s not meant as any disrespect, it’s just meant to make a point. The point is we’re better, we’re happier, and we’re stronger together than we are apart. Never forget that. Anyone who is trying to manipulate you into hating another group because of differences, whether it’s based on gender, sexuality, religion, or anything else is using you, is undermining you and your beliefs, weakening your bond with your fellow man in order to profit from.

The only way it’s going to change is if we the people, the population, of all nations, whether in the Middle East, North America, Asia, Africa, South America, Europe and all other regions refuse to be manipulated into killing each other anymore.

Thank you.
Respectfully yours,

Mike Gagnon


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