I was fascinated by the truth in the analogy of this prose the first time I read it. I kept a copy in my file (yes, I still have a paper file). I find it interesting (and quite beneficial ) to review it every few years and analyze the application in my life at that time.
My best research tells me that "Lessons Form Geese" was written in 1972 by Dr. Robert McNeish of Baltimore, Md, USA. Here's where you can read about the science of a flock of geese if you are interested. Dr. McNeish does a stellar job of interpreting the lessons for us. While the lessons are the same for each of us, they are very different at the same time, depending upon our personal situation. The application of the lesson can vary throughout our lives as we grow and change. Sometimes we even act differently as we fly with different groups of geese. In that light, I have added my own short thought on each lesson. As you read it, consider the application in your family, work, religious and community relationships.
FACT 1: As each Goose flaps its wings it creates an "uplift" for the birds that follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
MY THOUGHT: We always accomplish more together than alone. Quit trying to prove otherwise.
FACT 2: When a Goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
LESSON: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
MY THOUGHT: When you slip off the straight and narrow path, be open to a friend whose lifting power can help pull you back in and whose strength can help carry you until you are strong again.
FACT 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities and unique arrangement of gifts, talents or resources.
MY THOUGHT: It's okay to step back and let someone else lead now and then. Sometimes we need the rest; sometimes they need the opportunity.
FACT 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
LESSON: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.
MY THOUGHT: Do (say) unto others as you would want them to do (say) unto you!
FACT 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
LESSON: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.
MY THOUGHT: Relationships count! Loyalty counts! Don't let LESS important things get in the way of the MOST important things.