Use instinct to build unity

Published 9:24 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

By Tonya S. Swindell

One day I saw a gaggle, or flock, of geese flying overhead in a V formation. I became curious about the group’s instinctual capacity to unify while traveling from colder environments to warmer climates. So I researched what made them successful at creating unity within their community.

Geese remain aware of their surroundings. They instinctively cope with the onset of colder seasons by organizing a V formation and traveling to warmer locations. If the lead bird demonstrates signs of fatigue while flying, other members of the gaggle take up the slack.


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Geese assist the lead bird with moving to the back of the V. From that position, the weary leader may be lifted and supported by wind currents of other geese that continue moving forward.

In a similar way, Romans 15:1 from The Message Bible says: “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’”

Psalm 133:1 offers additional insight about successful collaborations. It says, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” The word “unity” is defined by Merriam Webster dictionary as “the quality or state of being made one.”

When geese create unity, they successfully build community. And when each one works together, they have capacity to travel farther. The instincts, actions and attitudes of geese provide excellent examples for people to follow.

In the book “Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive,” Bishop T.D. Jakes “…shows readers how to tap into their God-given intuition to achieve ultimate success…” presents quotes from the book that describe how innate qualities can help individuals survive, thrive and contribute to the well-being of others.

Jakes wrote, “Our human instincts transcend physical survival and include our unique gifting and purpose. When we unleash our instincts to guide us, we discover the special ways we’ve been equipped, educated and enlightened to fulfill our destiny. Your instincts are more resourceful, resilient and responsive than you probably realize.”

Bishop Jakes also encouraged unity by writing about the need “to find people who are in sync with our beat and form a more perfect union with those who hear the same rhythm.” He added, “It is for us to find the thing we were created to do, the power we were meant to affect, and the power that comes from alignment with purpose.”

The instinctual flight of geese illustrates the power of maintaining unity within community. It also provides insight about how to bear one another’s burdens and treat others the way we’d like to be treated. Geese show that working together is possible when instinct combines with compassion and intentional acts of service.

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School ( She can be reached at