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Who Moved My Cheese?

Critique of “Who Moved My Cheese? ” “Change Happens! ” is one of the statements written on the wall of the maze in Spencer Johnson’s allegory (fable) about Change entitled “Who Moved My Cheese? ” This statement is a very simple universal truth that would appear, on the surface, to be a “no brainer. ” Yet people from all walks of life are often shocked and some even devastated when change occurs in the circumstances of their lives. Spencer Johnson uses four “make-believe” characters, Sniff and Scurry, Hem and Haw, to send a message to his readers, in a lighthearted, childlike way.

The message was lucid, credible, and pragmatic. Simply stated, “People can survive and thrive in spite of sudden changes in their circumstances. “ The extent to which they survive and thrive, however, is greatly influenced by their attitude and response toward change. I believe Spencer Johnson was successful in delivering his message to his intended audience, and people everywhere can benefit from the handwriting on the wall. Spencer Johnson is reported to be “one of the world’s most influential thinkers and widely read #1 bestselling authors. His education includes a B. A. degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California, an M. D. degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, and medical clerkships at The Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Johnson, called the “King of Parables”by USA Today, is often referred to as “the best there is at taking complex subjects and presenting simple solutions that work. ” The manner in which his message has been received by individuals, companies, and countries is evidence of his credibility.

Over twenty-four million copies of this book have been sold in forty-seven different languages. Major corporations, such as Merck, Apple, and Sprint have used it as a part of their training programs. Readers can readily identify with the characters in his story. They can see that the behavioral traits of each of the characters are present in most people. Sniff and Scurry did not over analyze the situation of the missing cheese. They recognized that the cheese was gone and quickly ran off in search of new cheese in spite of their fear of the unknown.

Hem and Haw, on the other hand were paralyzed by analysis, and Hem particularly got caught up in the “blame game. ”They were resistant toward change. Spencer Johnson vividly described the waning energy of Hem and Haw as they returned to Cheese Factory C each day after the cheese was gone to find NO CHEESE. Readers will naturally and logically conclude as Haw did, “If I do not change, I can become extinct. ” Likewise, the imagery and details of the story were delightfully and logically woven together to bring the reader through the “maze” along with Haw.

The attention of the reader is drawn to each statement written on the wall with the intent of stimulating reflection as to how they may be applied. Resilience is the buzz word of the 21st century. It is one’s ability to “bounce back” after sudden devastating change — the ability to not only survives but thrive in spite of trauma and trials. The extent to which one survive and thrive, however, is greatly influenced by his/herr attitude and response toward change. Spencer Johnson was successful in showing his readers how that can respond positively to change and enjoy change, over and over again.