Five things we can learn from Jonathan Livingston Seagull


“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” is Richard Bach’s masterpiece of 1970 and tells the story of Jonathan, the seagull who pursues a superior ideal of life. It is a spiritual and metaphorical fable, full of inspiration for those who want to start a path of inner growth.

Here are the 5 main lessons we can learn from this book.

1. The majority are not always right

Jonathan refuses to be like other seagulls who fly just to get food. He wants to fly higher and learn new flying techniques. This choice of life is contested and derided by the whole flock, including his own parents. Nonetheless, Jonathan’s choice will prove to be the right one.

2. Sometimes loneliness is our friend

Jonthan refuses to conform to the crowd and turns away from the other seagulls who would stand in his way and prevent him from achieving his goals. This choice involves a long period of solitude. However, it is during these moments that Jonathan learns to master the art of flying.

3. Helping others to be better makes us better

Once he has learned the true art of flying, Jonathan, instead of taking pride, feels a moral duty to go back and teach the other seagulls everything he has learned. He is not afraid that others may fly as high as he does, but wishes happiness for all.

4. When we abandon those who do not deserve us, we find those who are most similar to us

At the end of his journey, Jonathan finds himself in another dimension surrounded by seagulls who, just like him, want to fly high and are moved by higher feelings. With them he can finally relate happily and share the joy of his conquests.

5. The purpose of life is to improve ourselves

Jonathan understands that living is not about surviving, but about awakening our potential and becoming the best version of ourselves. Improvement requires dedication, perseverance and courage, but it is the real meaning of our lives.

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly”.

Richard Bach

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