Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach

Being a jet pilot by profession, Richard Bach has always been known for his books related to flying/aviation. He is very passionate about flying and that is truly reflected in his novels. Some of his famous books include Illusions, The Bridge Across Forever and One, Out of My Mind and of course, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

The book ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ is about a seagull, who loves flying and dreams of becoming a perfectionist. He flies not merely to catch food and fill his stomach, but to master every technique and discover new ways of flying. This behavior of his is considered lousy/inferior by the other members of the seagull society and they outcast him. But all that doesn’t stop him from exploring and flying without limits. He keeps on setting higher and higher goals for him until he finds himself in another world with many seagulls like him eager to fly without boundaries. He becomes a member of another flock, which is not just a ‘breakfast flock’ as the author calls it, but a flock whose members are bound by love and respect. He becomes a teacher there until he moves on to yet another world.

In just eighty-seven pages, the author has uncovered the real meaning of life. That life is not merely to exist but to live. One’s life is incomplete if he does not have the zeal, courage and enthusiasm to live. By giving the example of a seagull, the author has taught us that one never attains perfection as there is always to learn more and more. After setting and achieving one goal, we should set up a goal which is tougher than the previous one and this process should go on till the end of our life. But one should not become selfish in a run to fulfill his or her dreams. Love and respect are the two most important aspects of human life. We should not underestimate the real importance of learning in our lives. One should never hesitate to learn or to teach what he knows to others.

According to the author, death is just an illusion. A person never dies, but goes to another world, where he practices even more and again another world until he finds/discovers that the real meaning of life is to attain perfection. Many of Richard Bach’s novels are based on the same philosophy.

This book is really inspirational as it unveils the real art of living. It inspires one to break away from the conventions and discover his/her strength. I recommend it to all those looking for hope and redemption in these times of recession.

Divya Sharma

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