Cyrus the young seagull had just enrolled in a flying school, because although he could fly, he found it very difficult and wanted learn how to fly higher, faster, and more easily. He had found out that there was a wise teacher in that school who had a lot of experience. This wise flying instructor could just open her wings, and without any effort catch the smallest wind and take off from any position.
On the other hand, Cyrus had to try very hard, and flap his wings with a lot of energy and effort before he could take off. So he was very happy to have found such a teacher and was looking forward to his flying school days.
On the first day of class, his teacher told him to stretch out his wings while standing on the ground, and hold them open for an hour. Cyrus was a little surprised, but decided to follow the instructions since she was an expert flyer.
But after 30 minutes of standing with his wings stretched out in that position, he felt very tired. After 45 minutes, his wings began to shake and his whole body was shivering. He was very glad when the hour was up.
On the next day, she told Cyrus to do the same thing, but this time to have his wings in an arched position. Cyrus followed his teachers instructions, but his experience was very similar to the day before.
This method of training continued for a whole week, and Cyrus had not even flown once during that entire week of school. He was frustrated and had to ask his teacher why they had not flown.
She replied gently, "perfect flight takes a lot of preparation, Cyrus. You must progress towards perfect flight. It will not happen over night."
The next week, strong winds were blowing. The air was perfect for the first flying lesson. So his teacher decided to take him up into the air. While she gently and easily soared up towards the clouds, Cyrus had to try very hard to keep up.
When they got very near the clouds, she told Cyrus to stretch out his wings, just like on the first day, and simply glide on the wind. Cyrus did this, and while gliding, they were coming down slowly. After they had done five minutes of gliding, they were getting too close to the earth, and so they started soaring up again. Again Cyrus was flapping his wings very hard, while she was very easily soaring into the skies.
When they were high up again, she told Cyrus to stretch out his wings in an arched position and they glided like that for 5 minutes, and repeated the sequence once more.
This process continued all week. But every day, Cyrus managed to stay up a little longer. On the second day, they glided for 7 minutes before they needed to soar again. On the third day it was about 8 minutes, and so on.
Eventually, after 2 years of flying school, Cyrus graduated with a degree in "Perfect Flight". That was a wonderful day for Cyrus, because now he could fly perfectly, just like his instructor.
After the graduation ceremony was finished, Cyrus went to his instructor to thank her for everything she had done for him. And asked if she had any advice to give him before he would go off on his own.
She thanked Cyrus for his graciousness and said, "just remember one thing. It took you 2 years to learn how to fly perfectly. It was a progress from imperfect to perfect flight. By doing this, you have made this world of ours a little better, a little more perfect. Continue to help make this world progress towards being better and better. Now try to help another seagull to improve his flight and become a perfect flier. Because the purpose of our lives is to make the world a little better everyday, and that is how we make it progress towards perfection."
© Shahriar Shahriari
August 13, 1998
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