Marian Wright EdelmanOp-EdOpinion

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Lessons from Geese — Standing By Each Other in Difficult Times

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we human beings had as much sense of community as geese? During an Outward Bound experience in Maine, participants read these lessons we humans can learn from geese that bear repeating, considering and sharing in these trying times.

Lessons from Geese

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 percent 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.

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.

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 arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

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.

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.

“Lessons from Geese” was transcribed from a speech by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network. It was based on the work of Milton Olson and shared with Outward Bound alumni.

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker