Unexpected Changes and Ways to Deal with Them in Spenser Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese?
“Who Moved My Cheese?”
Who Moved My Cheese? is a novel about two little people and two mice. They live in a maze and look for “cheese” to feed them and make them happy. In this novel, the characters have to deal with unexpected change. The little people and the mice act on this change in different ways. The mice are prepared to move but when the two-little people notice all the cheese is gone, they don’t know what to do. The names of the mice are Sniff and Scurry and the two-little people are named Hem and Haw. Cheese is taking the place of what you want in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.
The message this book is trying to convey is that in life you are going to experience change and you are going to have to adapt to it. No matter what the situation is around you, be aware of your surroundings and learn to move on from certain situations. For example, you are trying to pass you final exam that tells you whether you get your degree, but your friend keeps trying to get you to go out the night before. She isn’t thinking about you or your future. You might want to reconsider your friendship with her because any friend that doesn’t consider your feelings shouldn’t be called your friend. A friend wouldn’t put you in that position.
I can relate most to Haw, one of the little people. I admit when it first comes to change, I don’t like it. It takes me a while to get used to change, but once I do I start adapting to it. If someone is holding me back from getting where I need to go, I leave them. Of course, I want to keep the friendship, but if you’re stopping me from where I’m trying to go, I have to let it go. Haw is the type to go get what he wants regardless of the situation. I don’t stop until I get what I want or where I’m supposed to be.
My “cheese” is to have a good career. I want to be able to have a good career as a lawyer so one day when I have a family, I will be able to take care of them. I want to have a stable income so I can at least live off 60% of my income and give away 40%. I think giving away money and time to the community is the most important part once you start having a good income.
The situations in this novel can relate a lot to the real world. When you are in a work environment, change occurs often. You have the people that notice change is occurring and they are adapting, while you have other people that aren’t paying attention to their surroundings and don’t notice that there are changes. When change comes and people aren’t ready, they tend to have a bad attitude about it and stay stuck in their old ways. For example, when Haw wanted to go search through the maze but Hem didn’t want to leave. He wanted to stay in that same station and wanted his same cheese.
There are many lessons in this novel that can be learned from. One of the major lesson is that “Change Happens”. This lesson is basically the implied meaning of the whole novel. Adapting to the change makes it easier as you move on. If you don’t adapt, then you’re stuck. While adapting to the change, change as a whole. Change your mentality, your attitude towards everything, and even change the way you get to where you are going. Maybe the reason you aren’t getting where you need to be is the way you are taking to get there.
This novel was a good one but if I had the choice to read it again, I wouldn’t. I am the person who needs the main idea to be direct, not implied. While I was reading, I didn’t understand the concept of “cheese”. I didn’t understand it because it was confusing. At first I thought “cheese” was a change in your life. On the other hand, I liked the lessons that were in this book. I think it’s good for people to learn about change because not every human is good with change. I also like how the author incorporated human and animal instincts. We can tell from the book that animals actually deal with change better than humans.
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