Friday, May 3, 2013

What We Can Learn from the Geese

 Lessons From The Geese  by Dr. Robert McNeish:
(People with disabilities, parents, staff, businesses, etc., all need to work together. Synergy is the concept that when we all work together the end result is greater than if each of us acts independently. There’s a great deal to be learned from the teamwork shown in Lessons from the Geese.)
Geese are easily identified because they fly in a V-formation, and by the sound of their "honk".  Scientists have learned some interesting facts about the geese, some of which we can apply to our own lives.

1. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following behind. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird were flying on its own. 

For us this means that people who have the same beliefs, the same purpose and destination will get  where they are going more quickly and easily if they travel together, because they will benefit from each other's thrust. It means we need to be with each other to make our life journey easier; we need to join a group that supports and uplifts us. We need to associate with others who will give us support as we journey through life. We need to be faithful in our church attendance where  we can share our joys and concerns with others, and, in turn, give support to our church family as they share their joys and concerns.  Jesus said for us to love our neighbors as ourselves; we cannot do that if we live in isolation and do not know our neighbors. 

2. 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.

We should realize that we need to stay in the formation for which we were created and not try to go off on our own. We need to stay with those who have common goals, common values, common destinations; we need to stay with those who will help us get where we want to go so that we can fulfill our purpose.  We need to stay with those who will share their strengths with us, and who will guide us along the paths we need to follow.  We also need to be sure to identify and give strength to those dear ones who fall out of the formation,  trying to go alone.  We need to provide whatever it takes to bring them in to the presence of God. 

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

 This goose-behavior should tell us that we need to take turns with other people when we are doing demanding jobs. We cannot always do the hard task of leading; that will cause us to burn out.  We need to let others be the leader sometimes so they can build up their own leadership strengths.  On the other hand, especially, when the task is a grungy one, we need to stop hanging back, avoiding involvement, and take a turn at leading and give those who are working a chance to rest.

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

Why do we honk at others?  Do we honk at others in order to encourage them, or do we honk at them because we are impatient and want them to get out of the way?  We need to be sure our honking from behind is encouraging - not critical and nasty.

5. Finally… and this is important…when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots, and falls out of formation, two 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. Then they fly out on their own or with another formation to catch their group.

Do we stand by each other like that? Are we strong enough, compassionate enough to sacrifice our personal agenda and halt our own journey for a friend in need?  We should try to be. 

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