I used to work with a wonderful man called Maurice. Maurice, who had worked for the company for many years, was a wise old sage and in a fatherly way took me under his wing. There are many things I remember about Maurice – his wit, his ability to remain calm under pressure and his sayings. One which has stuck with me is … ‘you can’t measure a fluted colonnade with a straight rule’ (he never explained what he meant… but I have understood it to mean life is complex … try to avoid simplistic solutions!) another was … ‘even a broken clock is right twice a day.’ In other words be prepared to listen and learn wherever you are. Just thinking of Maurice brings back great memories.
I love learning from people but it’s not only people we can learn from. Take geese for an example. I remember one autumn evening seeing numerous flocks of geese fly overhead and they were all flying in a V formation. Have you ever wondered why they fly like that? I looked it up and here’s what I found.
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% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
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.
When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
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.
Quite remarkable! Sounds like the kind of community we’d all like to live in.
Yep! I think we can learn a lot from geese! I think Maurice would agree.
All the best