Be a Goose: It’s Good for your Mental Health!
By: Beth McHugh 2006
Ever been told you’re a real goose? Well, from now on you can take it as a compliment instead of an insult. Read the following story about the life habits of geese and discover that, like most animals in nature, they are definitely one up on us humans.
No doubt you have noticed that when geese fly south for the winter they do so in a “V” formation. They do this because they have learned that, as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an updraft for the bird immediately behind it, making it easier for that bird to fly. In fact, by using the “V” formation, a flock of geese can cover over 70% more ground in a day than if they were flying alone.
Moral for humans: People who share a common sense of purpose and a spirit of community can get what they set out to achieve easier and faster when they are feeding off the energy and enthusiasm of their fellow travelers.
If a goose moves out of the formation pattern, it is subjected to increased air resistance and finds it harder to fly at the same speed and cover the same amount of ground. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the “common good.”
Moral for humans: Be wise like that goose. Find fellow travelers on the path you are treading and stay with them, you will find the tough times easier to bear.
When the lead goose is overtired from its exertions of leading the pack, he willingly drops back in the formation and allows another goose to take over the pressure of the lead job.
Moral for humans: Delegate tough jobs and give everyone a chance to prove their mettle and show their capabilities.
The geese towards the back of the pack honk encouragement to the ones out front to maintain their sense of speed, direction and purpose.
Moral for humans: Encourage those who you know are undertaking difficult tasks in life.
When a goose becomes ill during flight, or is shot down by a human hunter, two geese will leave the formation to follow the sick bird to offer help and protection. They will remain with that bird until he is able to fly, or dies. Only then will they attempt to catch up with their own group or join another formation until they reunite with their original group.
Moral for humans: If we possess only the sense of a goose, we would make far more empathic humans.