Geese Flying in Formation

What geese already know that we need to figure out.

In his “Lessons from Geese,” author Milton Olson describes how geese work together to support both the strong and the weak for the betterment of the flock.

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

The article goes on to observe that “[w]hen the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position. . . . The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.”

And notably, “[w]hen a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of the formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is able to fly again or dies.”

What can we learn from the geese? First, when we work together, we make better and faster progress than when we work alone. Also, “[i]t pays to take turns doing hard tasks,” positive encouragement is helpful, and we must stand beside one another in both the good times and the bad.

If only we could treat each other the way geese treat their flock. God has put us on this Earth for but a brief time. Let’s make sure that we support one another to make the best out of our time together. Let’s take advantage of the “lifting power” of our collective strength.

John B. White Jr.

Blog post by John B. White Jr. Click here to learn more about John.

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