the goose story
On occasion, you may hear SisterSong sisters remind each other of the "Goose Story", by saying things like, "Will you fly point with this issue?" or "She's down and someone needs to stay by her until she's okay" or "We need to remember to stay in V formation." All code phrases we use to remind us of a parable that has been integrated into our driving values in our work at SisterSong. It's a part of our herstory......a story shared at the first meeting of what was to someday become....SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Heath Collective.
The Goose Story
Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in a "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
When a goose falls out of formation, she suddenly feels the draft and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately 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 going.
When the lead goose gets tired, she rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It pays to take turns doing hard jobs.
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. An encouraging word goes a long way.
Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by a gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow her until she is either able to fly or until she is dead, then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with the group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.