Jerry Summers: Jonathan Livingston Seagull – 2024

  • Thursday, July 11, 2024
  • Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers

Over 50 years ago someone either gave me a copy or suggested I read a book about a bird named Jonathan.

Some unknown author (then) named Richard Bach had written a 104 page paperback about a renegade flock member who chose not to fly with or at the same level as other birds.

Although written from a perspective of a creature with feather clad wings, the story contains many quotes from the author that delve deeply into the realities of life showing that Jonathan wasn’t like the other seagulls in his group.

Whereas his companions simply loved eating fish under the surface, Jonathan loved to fly at higher speeds and altitudes and dive deeper into the water.

His love of flying led the Aves (fowl) creature to understand and push Jonathan “through challenges and to new opportunities”.

The following Seagull quotes are just a few of the allegedly 179 contained in the book:

1. “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”;

2. “You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way”;

3. “We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill”;

4. “One school is finished, and the time has come for another to begin”;

5. “You don’t love hatred and evil, of course. You have to practice and see the real gull, the good in every one of them, and to help them see it in themselves. That’s what I mean by love.”

What do the words of a furryy fowl have to do with the present issues of the Israel-Hamas non-family feud, free immunity passes for presidents, immigrant wading rights, cost of T-bone steaks, legal killing of the unborn, hotels for homeless, capital punishment for all misdemeanants etc.

However, in a non-human style, Jonathan reminds us that America is still the land of opportunity for many if you are willing to seek your future!

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If you have additional information about one of Mr. Summers' articles or have suggestions or ideas about a future Chattanooga area historical piece, please contact him at jsummers@summersfirm.com)

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