I remember while my children were young, that my time spent reading with them was not only joyful, but also an opportunity to share about inspirational people, topics, and concepts. I was looking at my bookshelf yesterday and one of my books caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you. Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens by Spencer Johnson is a short book that you can share in probably one sitting. This is a wonderful, short, easy read to share with any child ages 10 and older. The message is so simple and so clear that its power cannot be missed nor overlooked. There are so many lessons that can be learned from this story that each time you read it, you may come up with new ways to apply it to your own life.
Chris shares a parable he had learned, “Who Moved My Cheese?”, with his friends at school when they had all been informed of a big change that would be taking place.
There are four characters in his parable: Sniff is the mouse who sense’s change. I believe you can also relate this to the awareness that things are not as we want them to be (perhaps friendships, grades, involvement in activities) or goals we have yet to work toward.
Then there is Scurry – the mouse who takes action. Sometimes it’s helpful to just get started without over thinking things and allowing doubt or fear to fester. Putting one foot in front of the other and beginning without worrying too much, if it will lead to success.
There are two “little people”. Hem resists change and prefers to focus on what is “not fair” rather than his role or opportunity. And Haw who learns to adapt and look forward, choosing to believe that he can impact his future by the actions he takes, even when he is not sure that his path will be the right one.
This story calls on the readers to consider the benefits of being flexible, adaptable, and in some ways brave. It’s not just about our approach to change, but to challenge, in general. I choose to look at challenge as another step toward moving from a place where I am not happy or satisfied, to a place where I can feel better and more successful. Through Haw, we learn that you are better off embracing change and leaning into it, rather than focusing on fear, regret, and resentment. Change and challenge will happen – and deciding to take control and influence its direction is a lesson we all need reminding of occasionally.
So, snuggle up with your kids, put away the technology, and share a good book. If you feel so inclined, you can share a conversation about the book afterward. But no pressure to, for even if you don’t – the message will speak loudly all by itself.