The Importance Of Forgiveness In Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Fighting is always easier than forgiving, for placing blame brings no tarnish to oneself. As humans (and seagulls) we cannot hope to move forward without leaving what holds us down behind us. In Richard Bach’s novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull, forgiveness is weaved throughout the tale of a seagull, daring to go beyond the norm, facing the consequences for the pursuit of happiness. Despite his banishment from the rest of the flock, Jonathan begins the discoverence of the secrets of flying by himself until he hits his maximum flying ability. Shortly after, he is brought to a new level of being and flying by another group of “enlightened” seagulls. The parting words of Jonathan’s mentor Chiang, “ keep working on love”, impart on Jonathan the …show more content…
It is not a form of submission, but rather a characteristic stoic solidarity never being deterred by others pettiness. Gandhi, one of the most impactful leaders of time itself, stated, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” (Mahatma Gandhi). It is his these words that we realize that not only does forgiving separate the weak from the strong, but the pure from the tainted. Mike Haynes, one of the many that have suffered at the hands of ISIS, an islamic extremist group, lost his brother to these less than human beings. Haynes however does not blame the entire islamic religion, but rather seeks to educate people that evil is not just embedded solely in a religion, but in those who carry it out. “Initially I thought there were only a few voices in a desert calling for unity, tolerance and understanding but then I realised there was a whole forest out there” (The Forgiveness Project). There is no greater strength than that of someone who has lost so much, yet can forgive and actively work to stop the spread of hate caused by a select few. Strength is not defined by one 's physical accomplishments, but rather of a strength of character and soul. Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull also decided to not hold hate for the flock that banished him, but rather sought to educate and share his knowledge in hopes of creating a better tomorrow. Forgiveness is the greatest feat of …show more content…
Holding onto negative feeling can reap havoc on the intricate system of the body. These toxic emotions can cause the body to develop harmful dysfunctions such as high blood pressure, chemical imbalances, and dangerous emotional patterns (Chan). If something is as glaringly obvious as forgiving someone can improve self well being then we must prioritize and ask ourselves “is it really worth it?” To most the answer should be simple; not forgiving others only hurts ourselves. Susan Whitbourne Ph.D. explores the benefits of forgiveness in a scientific study of those who forgive vs. those who have a hard time letting things go. “People high on the scale of conditional forgiveness, meaning they will only forgive others on conditional terms, died before people who scored low on this measure” (Whitbourne). When forgiveness becomes a tangible component of life and death, it is without a doubt that holding on to hate can seriously damage a person. “In a 2011 research project … people who practiced genuine forgiveness towards someone who had hurt them had a higher CD4 cell percentage” (Chan). Scientific evidence has even shown health improvements due to practicing forgiveness of others. Forgiveness is not only an inner strength, but also a possible biological health

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