This Fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered about why they fly that way.
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% more flying range than possible if each bird flew on its own.
People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they arguing more quickly and easily because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.
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.
If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way.
When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying flying south.
Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
What do we say when we honk from behind?
Finally — and this is important — when a goose gets sick or is wounded by a hunter and falls out of formation, two other 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. Only then do they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group.
If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.
Nullius in Verba*
In spite of whatever cares and infirmities we may have today, we likely have had most privileged lives. Living and thriving in Canada has been of major importance in mine. My life has certainly had its share of ups and downs — the ups mainly because of the luck of being in the right place at the right time. The downs, with some exceptions beyond my control, have been largely a result of my own foolishness. The key to my enjoyment of life is that I have had choices. There are many places where choices are limited or non-existent.
One of our more important choices comes when we help to choose a government. And this month we get to vote for a member for the federal Parliament. Even so, we will have multiple choices and our specific selection doesn’t always match that of our fellow voters. What is important is our freedom to make our choices as part of a collective exercise. There is great satisfaction to be had from casting a ballot for a favourite candidate or, on the other hand, voting for an alternative who may not be as popular. Either way, your vote will always make a political statement.
Although we don’t ever get everything we want from any government, we do have the privilege of casting a ballot in a fair election every few years. There are many who have never had that opportunity to make a choice. Participation is crucial for a viable and dynamic society. While the world around us continues to change dramatically, we must keep pace with it and be part of the process.
I have not always voted for the winning party. But I always knew that I could discuss my issues with the MP who represents me. Cherish your vote. Use it on October 21/19.
*Take no one’s word for it.