Hello, my dear book lovers!
Firstly, I thank you all for joining our Book Club – ABC and actively participating in it. Thanks to you guys, I have learned about many great books in these last few days and added them to my ever-growing TBR list.
For the Book of the Month – July 2020, we picked “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. The book was chosen via an Instagram Poll. For August 2020 (and the months afterwards) we will be choosing the book via a poll within the Club based on suggestions received from the members and maximum votes received.
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
I have read only a handful of books more than once. One among them is “Who Moved My Cheese”, a book that I have not only read several times but also gifted to my friends and colleagues. I truly believe everyone should read this at least once in their life.
It is a simple book, focussed on ‘Change’ mainly unforeseen change and our reaction to it. It is one of those rare self-help books where you have to draw your own lessons. The story is written in a humorous way with four characters – two mice and two humans (the size of mice) who live in a maze and look for cheese. The maze here refers to the world while the cheese can be anything that you desire – job, money, love, fame etc.
The story revolves around how each of these four reacts when they are deprived of their beloved cheese. The character names themselves speak a lot about their nature. The mice are named Sniff and Scurry while the little people are named Hem and Haw. Sniff is someone who can sniff out change early. Scurry is someone who can scurry into action. Hem fears and denies change while Haw learns to adapt to change in time and sees that it can lead to something better. Thus we see that Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw are all within us.
The story unfolds in a maze where our four main characters have found a big heap of cheese and are enjoying it. This continues for several days until one day the cheese is unexpectedly moved. The mice – Sniff and Scurry are well equipped on the onset and are not shocked to find the cheese gone. They had stayed observant throughout and noticed the pile shrinking. They were mentally prepared to adapt to the change. They quickly put on the ‘running shoes’ that they had kept ready and set about to look for new cheese. While it is easy for the mice to do so owing to their natural instincts, the humans find it hard to accept the sudden disappearance of the Cheese – The Change.
Hem is the character that becomes prominent in most people when they encounter sudden change. Hem is disappointed and believes that it was unfair to him that the cheese was moved. He denies reality and holds on to the past. He believes that he was entitled to the cheese and refuses to go around looking for new cheese.
Haw is the character who experiences the most change in this story. Initially like Hem, he too is in shock at the sudden disappearance of cheese. He sits around with Hem complaining and waiting for the Cheese to reappear. But eventually, Haw realizes that things aren’t going to improve unless he acts.
Haw decides to strike out and start looking for new cheese. He refuses to fall prey to Hem’s discouraging words. He takes control of the situation and moves about with faith that he will soon find new and potentially better cheese. This increases his confidence. When he finds little pieces of cheese on his way, he takes it back to share with Hem. But Hem is not interested in the new cheese. Eventually, Haw realises that he will not be able to change Hem. Hem has to do it himself.
The book to me is about the transformation from Hem to Haw in the advent of an unforeseen (often tragic) change.
This the lesson I derived for myself from the book. What is your lesson? Tell me in the comments below!
If you have not read the book yet, you can buy your copy from here.
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We do not have any rules in the club but request you to actively participate once you have joined. The idea behind the club is to encourage reading and introduce great books to readers.