Ode to the Goose

In the fall when you see the geese heading south for the winter, flying along in a “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way.

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling 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.

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It makes sense to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese 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 gunshot, 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 that 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.

Susan B. Anthony Project chose the geese logo because it is a metaphor for our philosophy and our services. By moving together, we gain lift and support from others in our journey toward safety, healing, and growth . . .

*adapted, source unknown