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Lessons from the Geese

From Milton Olsen, a naturalist, as told by Angeles Arien

It’s about the greater collective and how we learn from each other.

1. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird following. Flying in a ‘V’ formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if the bird flew alone.

LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community, can get where they’re going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

2. 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, and will be willing to accept their help as well as give ours to the others.

3. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into formation, and another goose flies at the point position.

LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing the leadership. With people, as with geese, we are inter-dependent on each other.

4. 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.

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

LESSON: If we have as much sense as geese, we too will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.

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