Stories of Kindness from Around the World

What The Geese Taught Me


--by JZ, posted May 26, 2007

Next fall, when you see Geese heading South for the Winter, flying along in V formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way:

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following.

By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and a sense of community can get where they are going, more quickly and easily, because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

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

If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.

When the Head Goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

It's sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs with people or with geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

What do we say when we honk from behind?

Finally...and this is important...when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies; only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

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Readers Comments

Bonnie wrote: Wonderful. I plan to share this with my collegues. This is a good lesson to us all. Thak you so much! I needed this today
sethi wrote: Great learning , thank you
katlampi wrote: This is a really great metaphor to follow! Supporting and mentoring one another, working for the good of the whole rather than the individual good, is undervalued in this society, yet it is what sustains us. Thank you for sharing your wonderful example.
N magesh wrote: give me all the details of extention species
happyhomemom wrote: A big job is not so big wioth lots of hands to help. Great reminder:)
Ramanand Kowta wrote: Fantastic ! We see such 'concerted' team effort by a 'gang' of workersdoing some very big,heavy job- by singing, chanting in unison led by the leader.
Amjad wrote: For more on aerodynamics of the "V" or echelon formation, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_formation
Deborah wrote: Compassion and understanding for our fellowman has fallen by the wayside but there's a wonderful shift happening and it starts very simply by us following one of the ten commandments - love thy neighbour. If we have to in our everyday lives, give a smile or help someone, however small it may be, it will literally change the world we are living in. Another absolutely true saying is "What goes around, comes around". If we can give love and kindness to those around us every day, it will come back to us at a time when we might not be feeling the greatest - and there will be those two geese showing love and kindness to the injured one...Love makes the world go round...its up to us...
Dr Siddiqui wrote:
A wonderful example of lifting oneself up ....and others too..and aperfect example for young ones in teamwork!
Dan wrote: It is good to sow the seed of being compassionate. The harvest would definitely come when you need it.

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