Do YOU have the Sense of a Goose?


© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Reflections: edited reposting

Click HERE for Part One: ABOUT Values and the Goose Story

A wonderful model for living

In 1994 I founded The Optimal Functioning Institute™ – the company that presented the world’s first comprehensive ADD-specific coaching curriculum, and the only one for many years (OFI’s certification compliant A.C.T.), a curriculum I developed and delivered personally for years.

OFI was founded according to the principles that Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes articulates in The Goose Story, an extremely short free-verse poem (below) about the importance of community.

For well over a decade it was featured prominently on my first website, ADDCoach.com, built to focus on promoting the existence of ADD Coaching and the importance of brain-based, ADD-specific, Coach Training — and one of the first ADD sites on the web.

I first shared it here on ADDandSoMuchMORE.com in 2011. Over the years, it has become a touchstone and a talisman for myself and, I hope, many of the students who trained with me.

In The Goose Story, Noyes compares and contrasts human behaviors to those of a flock of geese, starting with an impressive explanation as to why you always see them flying in V-formation.

The reason I was so taken with this story is a story of its own: how I became aware of the importance of a strong personal foundation and of values-based goals.

After my recent three-part empathy story [Part I here], which you’ll also find in the Related Contents at the bottom of this post, I decided it was time to share it again with many new readers who might never have seen it.

Part I of this post attempts to give you a little bit of background.
This post shares Noyes’ wise words.


The Goose Story
by Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes

Next fall,
when you see Geese
heading South for the Winter,
flying along in V formation,
you might consider
what science has discovered
as to why they fly that way:

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

By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least
71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

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.

If we have as much sense as a goose,
we will stay in formation with
those who are headed the same way we are.

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
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 gunshots 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!

attributed to Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes in
ARCS NEWS, Vol. 7, No. 1, January 1992

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(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)


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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

112 Responses to Do YOU have the Sense of a Goose?

  1. Wonderful post, Madelyn. All the best to Harry too. Mega hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan – it inspires me daily.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  2. colonialist says:

    A great analogy. Geese do these things without even thinking about them. Humans think about them but still don’t do them. Which is the more stupid species?

    Liked by 1 person

    • hmmmm, interesting question. Let’s think about a few more things . . .

      * Geese don’t have point geese who decide to erase the distance traveled by the flock when they take the lead

      * Geese travel together in the direction that benefits the ENTIRE flock.

      * Geese don’t decide that geese with darker or lighter feathers are evil and need to be kicked out or walled out

      * Geese welcome geese from other flocks who would otherwise be struggling to fly without a flock

      I could probably go on, but it’s not looking’ good for the humans. 🙂 Thanks for ringing in.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • colonialist says:

        Humans certainly come out badly on extended comparisons. One could say that human voters cook their own goose.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Cooked goose – ::groan:: 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  3. Wendy says:

    Let’s flock together. I like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wendy, my friend, we will ALWAYS flock together. HONK!
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wendy says:

        HONK!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • lol!!!!!
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  4. A lovely story Madelyn. It symbolises to me what life is about. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you resonated with Noyes’ poem, Brigid. Thanks for stopping by.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Smith says:

    Brilliant post and story. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU, Mary. I’m pleased it resonated with you too.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    I believe that community is vital to our survival and feel that this is almost as effective online as it is in person. And in fact as the generations roll out behind us it will be come equally so. Particularly as our reach is now worldwide and we can take support and knowledge from a much wider level of experience. I do recommend that you read this post because Madelyn Griffith-Haynie illustrates this elegantly and succinctly.. #recommended

    Liked by 1 person

    • How did I MISS this? I just found it (11 hours after you posted it), and I hope you can still believe that I am very grateful that you were moved to share. THANK YOU.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  7. Grandtrines says:

    Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am truly touched by the response this post has received, since Noyes’ poem is so important in my life. Thank you so much for reblogging.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Grandtrines says:

        You are welcome! Maybe it will become an “internet meme.”

        Like

  8. Grandtrines says:

    Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just left a thank you message on your site’s reblog post – and I also want to say thank you here as well.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Grandtrines says:

        You are welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

        • 🙂 You are a doll!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Grandtrines says:

            🙂 Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

  9. dgkaye says:

    Loved the goose tale. Life in the skies is so comparable to ours. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • But wouldn’t it be GREAT to be up there?
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        You got that right! We’ll form our own V. You and me have a lot of wind in our sails. 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • There are a few other bloggers who might want to join our flock – and we’d honk with the best of them.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • dgkaye says:

            Let’s flock off! Honk on! 🙂 xx

            Liked by 1 person

            • When I read this poem to one of my classes, one of the students responded with, “Well that put’s a whole new spin on ‘honk if you love Jesus.’ ”
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • dgkaye says:

              Omg, you just made me spit out my sip of tea with laughter as I read this. Note to self – don’t drink while reading Madelyn’s comments. Lololol 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • Or cover your keyboard. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • dgkaye says:

              Lolllllllll

              Liked by 1 person

            • 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  10. noelleg44 says:

    What a great poem. How isit that animals can be so much smarter than we are?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Because they are cooperative vs. competitive to a greater extent that we are? At least, geese are – and many to most of the animal behaviors that touch my heart and make me wonder the same thing.

      Thanks always for reading and ringing in, Noelle.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great things happen when we pull together… 🙂 Wonderful post Madelyn.. May we all keep flying in Unity and keep our headings in the same direction… As we all open our hearts to one another…
    Love and Blessings
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sue. I couldn’t have said it better.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 ❤ Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti and commented:
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie gifts us with a poem called The Goose Story. After the poem, we are given a valuable lesson in living. Please, don’t miss this and read on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, John. I’m not surprised that Noye’s poem touched you too – and I am so grateful that you are passing it on.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • You’re welcome, Madelyn. I learned a lot from that story – thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • As did I, John – and I love the metaphor.
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  13. That is the thinking this world actually needs, thank you for sharing such insightful, thought-provoking post! I wish more and more people followed with this sensibility, cos’ the only way humanity can win is by being together, strengthening each other.
    xx
    https://simpliannie.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for a lovely response to this post. Obviously, we are on exactly the same page.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  14. Chuck says:

    Hi Madelyn,
    😉 I got it right this time.
    Each time I visit, I learn more and witness the empathy you have those that suffer. I had heard about the Geese and their flight. However, never say it used as an analogy before. Great Post

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 – Noyes’ poem is dear to my heart (even though I have found myself flying point for so long that my wings ache – lol). Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving this empathetic comment.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  15. Bernadette says:

    That is amazing. I will never look up at that formation the same way again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really changed my life from the moment I first heard it (by “anonymous”) – no exaggeration. It was years before a reader let me know the name of the author.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  16. Reblogged this on Kate McClelland and commented:
    good analogy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kate – for the reblog and for resonating to the analogy.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome Madelyn xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  17. That is fantastic. I think I’m a goose closer to the back working towards being closer to the front. Building strength. Maybe. Cheers,H

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear you are building strength, but as long as we are flapping – even back in the wing – we are ALL contributing to the greater flying range. Honking helps too – lol.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Honk!

        Liked by 1 person

        • ditto and back atcha! 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  18. ghostmmnc says:

    That was a great poem, and we should all learn from the geese. We have a playa lake right by the house, where the Canada geese winter over. I love watching them fly in their formations and hear them honking. This poem did answer some questions I had about them. 🙂 Wishing you a lovely week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fascinating species – did you know they mate for life too?
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • ghostmmnc says:

        I think I’d heard that they do mate for life. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Really sad when hunters shoot them out of the sky them for sport, huh? Strange definition of fun.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • ghostmmnc says:

            Oh, I know. I abhor hunting of any kind, and can’t deal with hearing of any animal hurt.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I understand hunting for food – tho’ I hope I am never forced to do so. But killing for SPORT? I will *never* get that one, or respect those who engage.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  19. mistermuse says:

    So much for that old expression about going on a wild goose chase! It’s geese who know what they’re doing, and it’s humans who often go on what would be better called a “wild PEOPLE chase.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • ABSOLUTELY, muse – animals seem so much kinder than humans in many instances – good models.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  20. -Eugenia says:

    Reblogged this on BrewNSpew.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you SO much for reblogging this one. I absolutely love it and want to share it with the world – so thanks for helping.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • -Eugenia says:

        🌻

        Like

        • Is there a post on your blog that explains the name of your site? I’m curious – and didn’t see it on your ABOUT page.
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  21. -Eugenia says:

    This is most interesting, Madelyn. Humans can learn a lot from geese, can’t they? In fact, humans can learn a lot from animals and nature. We bring a lot of issues on ourselves. Outstanding post – reblogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes we can (and I wish more of us would). Again, thanks SO much for helping to spread this around.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Amazing Goose wisdom! I love it. We have so much to learn from animals and nature. It pains me that we don’t listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true – wonder if we will ever learn that we are really not the kings of the jungle we like to pretend we are? We have SO much to learn about kindness and sharing space on the planet.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  23. This is such a wonderful reminder to us Madelyn. Thank you. Touching story and one that always brings us back to the basics of fellowship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know – it does always seem to come back to that, doesn’t it? I’m glad you saw this one.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  24. colinandray says:

    Love the goose analogy. We share our environment here with a lot (a REAL lot) of Canada Geese. They will never look the same now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that is wonderful – I have heard from many who feel inundated by geese that they can create quite a mess. But knowing a bit about any living creature inspires tolerance, I believe. At least I hope so — and not just toward the geese.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • colinandray says:

        I recently watched a pair cross a quite busy road. One was clearly having some difficulty walking, but the other one held up the traffic until its partner was clear. The only honking was car horns… which were totally ignored. Got to love them! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fascinating! A clear message to US to slow the heck down. LOL
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  25. Smita Ray says:

    Appropriate message to be passed on to the world that insist upon fragments. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting way to frame it – thank you. We need always to keep in mind that, underneath it all, we are ALL one.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Smita Ray says:

        Pleasure Madelyn. The story was truly moving. Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are most welcome, Smita. I love it when readers have a similar response to mine.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  26. that’s a very good example how people roll ;o) and it reminds me of my math teacher who said I’m like those big berds, whose feathers we use for pillows… so I’m probably a goose in many ways :o)

    Like

    • Tink’s favorite pillows are goose down – because he can squirm around and make a nest before he lies down. I ran into an amazing close-out sale at a Big Lots many years ago, so I picked up quite a few for dog beds when I had three Shih Tzus. Now that I have only one, Tink gets them all.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  27. IF WE HAVE THE SENSE OF A GOOSE, WE WILL STAND BY EACH OTHER LIKE THAT! This is the reality, Madelyn that says all in your awesome poem. We need to learn from these beautiful geese how we need to live and support each and everyone of our Human beings and a community that stays together lasts longer. I had never heard anything like that about these birds. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for reading, Kamal. It sounds like it struck you in a manner similar to how I felt when I first heard it. I resonated immediately. Thank you for letting me know it touched you too.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • Welcome dear Madelyn and a wonderful and true post so inspiring for all of us. Thanks and it sure touched me.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you for saying so, Kamal.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Welcome Madelyn.

            Liked by 1 person

  28. CalicoJack says:

    Howdy Madelyn!

    Great story. We’re stronger together, aren’t we? Hm… where have I heard that before?

    Huzzah!
    Jack

    Liked by 2 people

    • Two things I know for sure about life:
      1. Nobody gets out alive
      2. Nobody makes it through alone.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  29. Thank you for sharing this, Madelyn. I makes so much sense. Sadly, there are a lot of humans that don’t subscribe to this sort of thinking and they are often the ones that cause all the problems for the rest of us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for letting me know you like it, Robbie. Sad indeed, especially for them, it is true that there are many who probably never will choose to subscribe to this sort of thinking – but we don’t have to join them, do we?

      And a lot of us don’t – especially those of us who blog. I think we are a pretty encouraging bunch – amazingly so, actually. And thank you, Robbie, for your support and encouragement.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is my pleasure, Madelyn. I liked this article so much I shared it on my personal Facebook and to my Facebook page @SirChocolateBooks. The bloggers are generally an awesome bunch.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Pingback: Do YOU Have The Sense Of A Goose? – The Militant Negro™

  31. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

    Liked by 2 people

    • How delightful. Thank you very much for sharing this with your community.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re delightful as well. Good to see you and I hope you had a good weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It was unusually lovely, thank you – I made it a point to spend some time out of my office and away from the computer – imagine that! I hope yours was wonderful as well. 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

          • Weekends are always the best, although I don’t have days off from blogging or tweetin or fighting against racism, oppression or evil where I find it. Time off will come to me when I am dead, then I will have tons of time off.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I don’t take many days away from the keyboard myself – but simply must every now and again to avoid burn out (learned the hard way).
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Vacations are very nice.

              Liked by 1 person

            • To my mind, a “vacation” is more than a day or two away (and has zero business attached to it) – and they are mighty nice indeed, if memory serves (it’s probably been decades since I’ve taken a real vacation).

              A college friend is arriving Sunday evening to “drag me away” for a couple of days in a cabin in a Kentucky park (dog-friendly, natch!). We are BOTH psyched about it, since we’ve only talked on the phone for years now. He is very good about scooting ’round the country to spend time with friends every year he has been healthy enough to manage it. I think he’s appalled that I don’t do the same. lol 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Well that sounds just like what the doc ordered. remember to enjoy yourself and have fun for me.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I will, thanks – and will say a little nature prayer that you will take a bit of a break yourself ere long.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

            • I take breaks when I sleep.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Astral traveling, perhaps?
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

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