(A note from Dr William Jones)
I recently read a remarkable little book about how all of us deal with change in our lives. The author uses “cheese” as a metaphor for anything we value. The story is about two mice and two “Little People” the size of mice. Each of them must find his way through a maze in order to reach his “cheese.” Initially, they all find their “cheese” in the maze and are content and comfortable. Then, their cheese is taken.
The mice quickly accept that their cheese is gone. Period. No discussion. Without wasting any effort worrying about “why” their cheese disappeared, the mice simply accept that it’s gone and quickly decide to search for “New Cheese.”
The Little People, on the other hand, get hung up worrying about who took the cheese, why the cheese was taken, how unfair it is that their cheese is gone; and they are convinced that whoever took the cheese will eventually bring it back if they just wait long enough. Unwilling to leave the comfort of their “Old Cheese” room, they are paralyzed with fear and doubt about the prospect of finding “New Cheese”. They remain in the Old Cheese room much too long, growing weaker from hunger.
Reading “Who Moved My Cheese” was especially meaningful to me at this time in my life. After spending so many comfortable, happy years in the “Old Cheese” room of my successful medical practice, I was finally forced to admit to myself that someone had “moved my cheese”, while for many years I had chosen to remain in denial about what the system was doing to me.
The new path through the maze seems to be a very good one for both me and my patients. I’m no longer afraid, and I feel alive again after years of slow spiritual death under the old system.
I encourage each of my patients to spend an hour reading this little book because it contains powerful lessons for all of us. Every reader will see parts of their own personality in how each of the characters behaves, and every one of us has something to learn from the story.