Change, like time, is always happening. There is no way to stop it, not even for a second. Whither or not you realize it, you are always changing in every possible way. However, we commonly simplify change to only the large differences in our normal routines each day or week, whither they are expected or unexpected. These large problems can sometimes become problems for people, which is not surprising.
They should be problems, whither they are good problems to have, or bad. It is our job to adapt to these changes, and to adapt quickly. All of the time it takes you to adapt, is time lost, time you will never regain. This principle is easily explained by Spencer Johnson, M. D.
in his book Who Moved My Cheese? . Hem, Haw, and two speedy mice running through a maze looking for cheese first sounded like a very odd way to analyze how people deal with change, however, after reading a section, the comparison between two different people and mice is a very creative and correct comparison. The mice, are concerned with one thing, their cheese. They do not worry about having a permanent home or structure to fall back on.
They are like Indians following the buffalo wherever they roam. They are constantly on the move following their source of life. The little people, Hem and Haw, however, are more concerned with have a home, and a schedule. A life that stays the same with themselves always perfectly content.
They do not want to have to worry about will they have food the next day, or will they have some place to sleep the next night. When a cheese did disappear, the mice had no problem adapting to it. They simply went out in search of new cheese the minute they didn't have any. They didn't waste even a second complaining. They knew it was do or die. If they did not find new cheese, then they would wither and die.
Hem and Haw thought it was unfair and did nothing of value. They complained that it was unfair that someone had taken their cheese from them. And after sitting around for days, they began to grow weak without food. Finally, Haw realizes that they cheese is not coming back and that they will perish without a new food source. Haw then ventures out to find a new source of cheese. However, he had grown so weak he questioned whither he had waited too long to venture out when he had not found any cheese for several days.
Haw persisted and eventually found new cheese and learned his lesson. Hem however, remained where he was, and perished. When I compare myself to these four characters, I find that I am a mix of all of them, even the mice. I find that they are some situations where I am so determined to do something that I will not stop until I reach my goal no matter what gets thrown in my way.
Yet there are the times when something totally unexpected is thrown at me, and I simply shut down. I am always able to, however, pull myself. Sometimes it will take me longer than others, but I will never perish like Hem did for refusing change. Just the other day, I had to take an English test, which was completely different from every other English test I had ever taken in the class. All of the other tests had followed a clear pattern. You always knew what to expect on the tests.
But this test was completely different. There were no multiple choice or true false. There were not only short answer questions, but also fill-in-the-blank questions without a word bank. I was caught off guard and was not ready for that type of test. The shock overwhelmed me and I could not remember half of what I knew. I know it was stupid to let such a little thing throw me off, but at the tine I was not nearly as prepared as I should have been.
I had not prepared myself for anything but the usual without any thought of something different. Eventually I was able to collect my thoughts, but by that time I had already lost too much. When I walked out of class that day, I had learned my lesson. I need to always be better prepared for the unexpected, or someday, I might not be able to catch back up. There are times when I am like the mice from the story and live by the words of Theodore Roosevelt, 'Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.' While working on the musical, Evita, this summer at the community theatre, there were several problems that came up un expectantly one after another, all affecting one another. First, the dark blue gels at the theatre from a previous performance had begun to bleach out.
The solution was simple, order four more sheets of the gel at a price of about 7 dollars a sheet. But then all of the light blue and red gels at the theatre were old and not rated for the heat of the new lights. The gels were constantly bleaching and melting. The solution seemed simple.
Order more gels, but it would take between 8 to 10 sheets of gel to correct this. The bill was beginning to add up, and there were stil several other thing that needed to be ordered. I knew I should not be spending so much, and had to resort to gel splitting. Something I had been told rarely ever worked because of the heat. But after two days I had every light gelled and I had only bought 4 sheets of gel. Like the mice, there have been times when I have 'scurried into action,' (p 13) and like Haw, there are times when I should have 'raced ahead' (p 27) a lot sooner and fast then I did.
Luckily, I am not Hem, and I will not become so comfortable with what I know and not adapt to a constantly changing world.