No. 74


The Greek philosopher and teacher, Aristotle once said, "Education is the best provider for old age." While my views with regards to education may be a little too simplistic, I believe that all of life should be a classroom. We should learn something from every person we meet and spend time with and from every experience we have throughout our lifetime. We are each different as individuals and I don't know about you, but I love nature and the out of doors. This covers the gambit from raising a garden, working in the yard, taking trips to the mountains and the beach and each year I spend some time deer hunting with good friends down in south Arkansas.
Our hunting camp is located near the Mississippi flyway and while we are there, there is seldom a day that goes by that you can't hear geese honking and look up in the sky and see them flying along. Any one who has ever seen a flight of geese knows they always fly in the shape of a "V" and many people have wondered why this is true. We can learn a lot from our fine feathered friends, as evidenced by the following article, titled The Goose Story, by an unknown author.
The Goose Story
Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in a "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share 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.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.
When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It pays to take turns doing hard jobs.
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. An encouraging word goes a long way.
Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by a gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with the group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.
When I first read The Goose Story I was reminded of a visit several years ago with Jack Smith, over in Jackson, Tennessee. He told me about a goose hunting trip when he actually saw a wounded goose being carried to safety by another goose. He said, "As I sat there and watched this big goose get underneath the other one and flap its wings harder and harder to carry it to safety in a nearby refuge, I couldn't believe this was happening before my eyes." While doing research for this column, I also learned that wild geese mate for life, which ain't no bad deal. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)