It is springtime in the Pacific Northwest. Each day, the sound of the honking is heard overhead and the sight of Canada Geese winging across the sky in V-formation is a reminder that winter will soon be at an end and nature will soon be experiencing the birth of the next generation. And it also reminds us of the lessons we can learn from the wild goose….
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird behind it.
By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent more
flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson Learned: People who share a common direction
and sense of community can get where they
are going quicker and easier when they
are traveling on the thrust of one another.
When a goose gets sick, wounded, or is shot down,
two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to the ground.
They stay with the goose to help and protect it until it is able to fly again or dies.
Then they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.
Lesson Learned: If we have as much sense as geese,
we will stand by each other.
Whenever a goose falls out of the 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 in front.
Lesson Learned: 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 gets tired,
it rotates back into the formation and
another goose flies at the point position.
Lesson Learned: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks
and sharing leadership.
The geese in formation honk from behind
to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson Learned: We need to make sure our honking from behind
is encouraging – not something less than helpful.
Perhaps we in the cat fancy can be as smart as a goose…