You may have read or at least heard of the book “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson M.D. (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, September 8, 1998). It’s a story about Mice who spend their days scurrying through the Maze to find Cheese. It’s a metaphor for people, in that Cheese represents something they want in life. But mostly it’s about change and the different ways of dealing with it.
Some people thrive on change. Others, not so much. Some resist it to the last.
Change of some sort is inevitable. We’re human, so we age and aging brings change. Buildings go up, get old and they change. It’s not possible to resist all change. Or as the Borg say “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”
Sometimes change is unexpected or we have no control over it. Loss of life or limb, a debilitating injury or illness, natural disaster, those things can slam us to the ground without warning. And you just have to deal with it. These are moldy cheeses and some people just scrape the mold off and eat it anyway.
Some changes come with a price tag. Divorce, loss of income, incarceration – to name a few. They are based upon choice, even if you think it is unwilling. Kind of like stinky Limberger cheese.
Other changes are pressed upon you and you must choose to accept them or not. Corporate mergers, company buyouts, workplace changes, moving back to your home town to care for aging parents. Holy, moly, it’s Swiss cheese!
Whether you know it or not, at the time, all of those kinds of changes can result in something better for you. It’s all in how you view them. Or maybe you make cheesecake. Who doesn’t like that?
And then there are changes you choose, because you want them. Getting married, having a baby, changing to a better job, buying a home. Cream cheese on a bagel! Add coffee and start your day with breakfast.
In the Cheese story, the mice were running out of cheese. Some of the mice took off to find more cheese and never came back. Others were going to stay because they didn’t believe the cheese was running out. But a few of those mice went looking for more cheese, found it, and came back to tell the rest of the mice. Proof positive that change can be good.
What does your cheese look like? Are you running out? Are you willing to make changes to have more cheese? Or do you have plenty of cheese, but are carefully doling it out so it lasts? Or are you waiting for someone else to take care of your cheese?
Change will come. You might want to get out the crackers.