7 Reasons to Act Like Geese

by Larry Hehn on September 18, 2011

mother gooseEvery Sunday in August, September and October I’ll be tweaking and sharing some of my favorite blog posts from the early days of Christian in the Rough – when the proverbial trees were falling in the forest but there was no one around to hear them.

It’s my pleasure to share them here again…for the first time. Cheers!

Last year a couple of Canada geese chose the lawn outside my office as their nesting place. The nest quickly became home to six large eggs. It was inspiring to see the mother faithfully, patiently sit on her nest for four long weeks, keeping the eggs safe and warm.

At the end of April, all six eggs hatched. Mother goose was very protective of her offspring. She hissed at me twice as I approached with a camera. However, I did manage to snap the above shot of her with the brand new goslings before they wandered off together in search of water.

I learned a lot about geese through that experience. In fact, I discovered seven really good reasons to act like a Canada goose:

  1. Canada geese stay with the same mate for life (if one mate dies, the other will find a new mate).
  2. While their eggs are incubating, the male goose stays near the nest and protects his family.
  3. Both mother and father goose play an active role in raising their children.
  4. By flying together in an aerodynamic V-formation, communities of geese enable themselves to fly at least 70% further than they could if flying on their own.
  5. When the goose at the point of the V-formation tires, another goose will take its place and allow it to rotate further back in the formation.
  6. Geese further back in the V-formation honk their encouragement to those in the lead.
  7. When a goose gets sick or injured and falls out of formation, two other geese stay with that goose and tend to it until it either recovers or dies.

I can’t help but wonder how different our lives would be if we all lived by the same principles of loyalty, responsibility, compassion, encouragement and community as these graceful birds.

What life lessons have you learned from unlikely sources?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Leanne Shirtliffe September 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Sometimes it’s squirrels. Other times it’s zombies.

This month it’s geese.

Okay, Larry, as a fellow Canadian, go read this post (but really the comments) at Rob Shep’s. There is a bit of a discussion of Canadian geese in the comments! http://www.robshep.com/2011/09/07/no-fear-geese/
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Larry Hehn September 18, 2011 at 11:43 pm

The “vile geese with no fear” – I love it! A whole different angle on the goose thing, but so true!


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Leanne Shirtliffe September 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

And happy birthday! 😀
Leanne Shirtliffe recently posted..On the Move: Dentists, Paying It Forward, and My 10 CentsMy Profile


Larry Hehn September 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Thanks, Leanne! 44 is the new 23!


Clay Morgan September 20, 2011 at 10:03 am

Nice post Larry. I would say that I feel you’ve goosed me but that probably doesn’t sound right in either one of our countries.
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Larry Hehn September 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Yep, I’ve been trying all day to come up with a clever way to spin that, and I’m stumped. You got me, Clay!


Juan Cruz Jr September 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm

As I read the post one word stuck in mind: compassion. If we could only be compassionate and love others the same way. God Bless!
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Larry Hehn September 22, 2011 at 12:13 am

Right on, Juan. Blessings to you too!


Seth C September 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I’ve learned plenty of lessons from the turtles that live in our neighborhood pond. Strange how God uses silly little things to teach us incredible truths.
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Larry Hehn September 22, 2011 at 12:16 am

It’s like finding hidden treasure without even looking for it! Thanks, Seth!


Jan Moyer May 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Until now, the biggest lesson I learned from geese was to watch where I step (we have a lot of geese in our neighbourhood). I’ll look at them with new insight now. Enjoyed the post.
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Larry Hehn May 28, 2013 at 7:59 am

Thank you, Jan. Yes, they do leave an incredible mess behind. That’s one goose-like trait we should probably avoid!


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