Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a story about a young seagull's desire to rise above what is expected of his kind. Jonathan believes that there is more to life than just looking for food and spends most of his time practicing his moves to be the best in flying despite his physical limitations. His extraordinary passion for flight, however, made him a loner and earned the ire of his flock. Even his mother is worried and asked him to be just like the rest of the flock. His father, on the other hand, kindly reminded him that winter is coming and that food is more important than anything else. Jonathan followed his parents' advise and tried so hard to behave like the other gulls. But after only a few days, the insatiable desire for speed and flight engulfed Jonathan once again. Soon, he's back on his old ways, flying alone testing his limitations. The elders saw this unwillingness to conform to the conventional an insult to the flock and declared him an outcast.
Jonathan's dishonorable banishment from his flock gave him more time to perfect his flying. With determination and concentration, he developed his skills and reached a higher level of fulfillment, an ideal life.
One day he came to a place where every gull seems to enjoy flying. In this “higher plane of existence”, he met two seagulls, Sullivan and Chang. Sullivan became Jonathan's dear friend while Chang a great mentor. Chang taught him the importance of believing in one's abilities in order to succeed. More importantly, Chang advised Jonathan to “keep working on love.” As days went on, Jonathan realized that the only way to demonstrate love is to return to his flock, forgive them and teach them what he already achieved. He returned to his flock and taught his “perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all” to all the young gulls who want to learn.