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The Wisdom of Geese. A Story of Hope for Humans. Thursday October 16, 2014

As you hear the geese flying overhead at this time of year, on their way south for the winter, I hope the following story of their wise ways, may help you along your journey.

Firstly, you hear them as they are honking, but for what, just that continual noise? It is because the one flying in the front of their V shape formation is the one doing the most work (just like the cyclists at the front of the peloton); the rest are 'honking' to show support for them for that work.

Flying in the V shape is by far the most effective way (like riding a wave while surfing) and reduces the amount of work by everyone behind by about 70% - so the front runners need ongoing encouragement, to keep their speed up.

Secondly, by working as a team and all taking their turn at the head of the V, as well as honking when behind, they, as a team, can fly 70% further, simply by working together.

Thirdly, if one goose becomes ill or is damaged by humans and goes down to land to hopefully rest and recuperate, two others follow it down and stay with them until they die, or can fly again. Always providing company until the end.

Fourthly, when the two or three fly again, they do not have to fly harder and faster to re-join their own 'team' again, they simply join another V formation and fit straight into the new team where they are readily accepted. (How easy would it be to do that between departments or families?)

Now, just imagine if we clever (IQ) humans, could be as wise (EQ) as the geese... supporting the 'one at the front', taking our turn at the front, staying with anyone who is ill or needs our support regardless of 'losing' the team you were working with and joining another identically values-based team to be able to go 70% further. In the words of Sam Cooke...'What a wonderful world this would be.'

How much 'further and faster' could you or I go in an effective, mutually supportive team/ family/community? Think of one person you could encourage or join with in a greater way this week to enable us all to 'fly further'.

A Moodscope member.

Geese story -
Sam Cooke -

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Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 6:55am

I love this story, it is so heart-warming. The geese just do it they do not need to be asked to be supportive it is instinct, they are a team and that is is inherent in their DNA.
I would love to hear more from those of us who live with the sufferers of depression. Sufferers, most of the time, cannot honk to support us, they are so deeply entombed in their own exclusive mire they cannot see us exhausted but still flapping away at the front, trying to get all of us to a stable location.
I am not a sufferer of depression I am just exhausted, anxious and permanently 'looking' - is it a good day, what will I be blamed for today, are there any signs of improvement?
I am sure my husband chose me for my strength of character and either my short memory or a capacity to forget his barbed comments on his worst days. So for fear of being accused of 'not getting it' on your good days we need acknowledgment too.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 7:31am

It's autumn and I feel like going straight from my autumn blues into my winter depression.
It was a horrible tuesday and the rest of the week felt not really better although it's getting up. Slowly.
But this comment made my day. Really. It touched me somewhere deep inside. Thank you, Les, for this.
You and Sam Cooke are so right: it's a wonderful world.

Have a wonderful day - all of you.


Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 7:38am

Thank you Les, what a beautiful uplifting post. Hope you all have a good day today fellow Moodscopers.


Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 7:58am

Thankyou Les, this is an amazing blog and real food for thought.

Rupert Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 8:26am

First Anonymous post I think I need to have a word with your husband! He has absolutely no right to be taking out his feelings on you - yes he may feel low but that doesnt give him carte blanche to make other's life a misery. The trouble with depression is that it can make people very self obsessed but why should they be allowed to? Yes of course you want to help him but it doesnt mean at such a cost to your own wellbeing.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 8:39am


Hopeful One Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 8:44am

Thank you for a thought provoking post. To co operate or to compete it that is the question. In its purest form the co operative model produces China and the competitive model produces the USA. Both systems have their pros and cons . You choose.

Hopeful One Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 8:52am

See previous post. In the the Rhyder cup in Golf our players, like your geese, see the benefit of cooperation . The Americans players are just as good but have only a faint idea of what this means and play as individuals . The rest is history ..

Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 9:53am

Hi Rupert and Anonymous - struck a chord with me as my husband suffered badly with depression, and sadly none of us knew for the first fifteen years of our marriage. He bullied me and put me down but it was always in a 'joking' way, so I got used to it and took the blame for things. I also protected my daughter for years so that she didn't get the brunt of his moods. He had a serious breakdown and finally went to the doctors. So did I. My blood pressure had shot up and I lost the proper sight in my eyes for a day. It was very scary. Then I broke down after another year. I have been depressed now for about eleven years and thankfully he is much better and I am able to stop him being the bully and if he is unkind or rude, I tell him. He has been more supportive with me which has obviously helped! There is a liddle light at the end of the matter how small!
Les,,thank you :)

heather Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 10:12am

Lovely and uplifting post - just what we all need as the days shorten. Especially moving how two geese stay with one that is injured. But because we suffer from depression does not of course mean that we are continually the injured person but have to use what we have learnt to be a part of a team and spur others on, as you have done Les on Moodscope. Thank you. It certainly is a "Wonderful World" (which my Mum wanted played at her funeral). There is so much we could learn from nature. Love from Heather x

Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 10:17am


heather Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 10:19am

PS: "Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong was my Mum's favourite but have just played Sam Cooke and love it - one of MY favourites especially the scene from the film where Harrison Ford dances it with the Quaker girl - so sexy !

Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 10:36am

Inspiring, uplifting and thought provoking. Thank you.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 11:26am

Hello Les - so beautiful; so true

Your post has encouraged me to reach out to my daughter who is in a really bad place at the moment and play to her strengths by inviting her to take me swimming, which she loves and which will ease my aching body

I am really glad to read you today as I am finding echos of your many words of wisdom in a brilliant book I am reading - "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle - for the first time ever, I am actually writing in a book and underlining parts that speak to me - and there is just so much in it; I can highly recommend it to anyone who wants to live in the "now".


Mary Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 11:45am

Great post, Les and is speaking to many people! Every time I hear the wild "hounds in chase" sound of the geese flying overhead, it calls to all that is wild in me. I want to run outside and spin, dancing in the wind like a brown leaf; leap up to the sky and join those geese on their long flight south. That sound must be one of the most evocative noises in the world.

Bunnykins Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 12:19pm

Thank you for this lovely post, nature is very healing. Bless you and all the moodscope gang x

Kirsten Coeur Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 5:12pm

Today started out well for me and just got even better! And it's only 9am.
Thank you, Les.

heather Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 6:23pm

Does anyone else have anstory of how nature can set us an example ? There must be many.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 6:30pm

Beautiful. I'm with Mary, the sound of geese never fails to give me goose bumps. Brings tears to my eyes, in fact.

One of my favourite books is The Snow Geese by William Fiennes. Stunning.

And to the first commenter, please have your husband read page 143 of an incredible book about depression called Sunbathing in the Rain. The patient may not be responsible for their emotional condition but they are responsible for their behavior.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 16th 2014 @ 7:04pm

I have my weekly NAMI meeting this evening and m going to share this post with the group especially the part about taking turns and helping out or being the leader when needed....also the part about falling down....our first canadian geese are just starting to migrate here for the winter and soon we will have thousands of them...what a work of nature

Di Murphey Fri, Oct 17th 2014 @ 3:26pm

Dearest Les ~
What an inspiring story! We (Moodscope Community) are a flock of geese and each post-writer is the leader, taking turns. Several of us stop to lift a struggling bird.

I am the one honking the loudest behind you. It is a balm. I am seeing it in my family, my girlfriends, and even my poetry & art classes. Ta-dahhhh!

Les Fri, Oct 17th 2014 @ 10:11pm

Honk away................


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