Writer Richard Bach (1936-) was born in Oak Park, Illinois. His inspirational novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull enchantingly described adventures in flight, the spirit, freedom, joy... And Jonathan's most important lesson: the meaning of kindness and love.
"Don't believe what your eyes are telling you, all they show is limitation," Bach explained. "Believe with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly."
A former US Air Force fighter pilot, Bach had a tough time selling his parable about a bird dedicated to flying "for the joy of flying." His manuscript was universally rejected until an editor at Macmillan Press took a chance and did a first printing of 7,500 in 1970.
The book became a phenomenal bestseller and spent 38 weeks as #1 on the New York Times list. It has since sold over 30 million copies in over 30 languages.
"You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way," Jonathan Seagull believed. A movie with beautiful photography and score by Neil Diamond, was released in 1973.
"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however," wrote Bach in 1984's Illusions.
"Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can."
The hearts of friends are always connected.