Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Lesson From the Geese

As each migrating goose flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds a seventy-one (71%) percent longer flying range that if each bird flew alone.

LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they travel on the thrust of one another.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

 LESSON:  If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

When the lead goose tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose takes over at the point.

LESSON:  It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks, and sharing leadership because people, like geese, are interdependent upon each other.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

LESSON:  We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging, not something less helpful.

When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow her down to help and to protect her. They stay with her until she is either able to fly again or dies.  Then they launch out on their own, either with another formation or to catch up with the original flock.

LESSON:  If we have as much sense as geese, we'll stand by each other like they do.

Adapted from: "A Lesson from the Geese." Text originally appeared in November, 1986, edition of Nebraska Synod (ELCA) Update, where it was credited to Milton Olson, one of the region's directors for outreach.

Author Donan Berg's latest murder mystery, Baby Bones contains no honking geese, but does contain suspense and human drama. He's the author of prior novels Abbey Burning Love, The Bones Dance Foxtrot, and his debut A Body To Bones. Click on novel title to obtain more information. Previews of all novels available in book section of . Search for Donan Berg. Your comment to any blog posting encouraged.

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