Rooting for Jonathan

Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly, loved it so much that he went against its own flock to reach for the sky.

Yet we find fewer Jonathans soaring in the skies above because society wants conformity, has its beliefs and expectations. Many buddingJonathans face the harsh reality soon as they start going to school, around their neighborhood, and even at their homes. In lieu of protecting the ones whom we care about, we put our own insecurities and biases onto them and increase their self doubt and hold their independence. Rather than giving them freedom and choice to fly, we ground them onto the reality of the situation and make them have realistic expectations.

To groom the next Jonathan, realize first that each of us are unique and talented in our own ways. At times, its best to just let individuals to follow their intuition, learn from their experiences, and let them achieve their authentic greatness.

That seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull was not your regular seagull. If Jonathan was a regular seagull, I probably won’t talking about him neither would you. Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly, loved it so much that he went against its own flock to reach for the sky. An outcast to its own flock, he chased his dream to fly until one day it was soaring high in the sky like no other seagull had done it before. Then gradually the flock started to embrace Jonathan’s courage, perseverance, and come to understand his dreams.

Yes, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach is a fictional story. The above scenario is all too common in our societies. We talk about change, highlight it/glorify it but at the end of the day very few of us go out of our way to chase something bigger. We stick to what the “flock” is doing, what they would say/think/feel, and our dreams/goals never get any legs.

What if we resisted limiting others’ dreams/goals by criticizing it or doing unnecessary harm? What if we found “that seagull” among us who is daring to fly high in the sky and gave them all the runway that we possibly can? What if we helped create more seagulls like that?

What type of seagull are you?

What type of seagull are you? Are you like Jonathan Livington seagull or a regular seagull?

I listened to the beautifully narrated audio version of Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach on YouTube. The 45 minute audio recording tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull who yearns to fly and not stay content with the daily activity of finding food like the other gulls. He is passionate about flying so much that he is removed from his flock. Independently he keeps flying and learning different ways to control his flight and speed. He is unconventional, driven and has a bigger purpose to live for.

Having now listened to the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I could understand why Kobe Bryant recommended the book when speaking to the LA Chargers, football team based in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Kobe has been obsessed with greatness and focused on achieving his goals no matter the cost. At times, his teammates probably did not understand his obsession to perfecting his craft, the sacrifices he made to become the best that he could be. Kobe identified himself as Jonathan Livingston Seagull who wanted to be the perfect craftsman and went above and beyond to become who he is.

A highly recommended read. The book starts with To the real Jonathan Seagull, who lives within us all.