Who are the characters in ‘Who Moved My Cheese’? They are a bit of all of us at various times. Sniff and Scurry, the mice, are the more simple characters and do exactly what their names suggest – sniff out change and scurry in to action. By doing so, they are survivors of change. They are aware when changes are taking place and go with the changes so they can enjoy finding the new cheese, or cheeses, when they are still fresh. They will be there long before Hem and Haw get their act together.
Hem and Haw, the Littlepeople, have more developed brains and believe they are much smarter than the mice. Hem resists change as he believes that no good will come of it and it will lead to something much worse. Haw learns to adapt in time, when he can see that change can lead to something better. When the cheese is gone, Hem and Haw spend a lot of time discussing how they are entitled to their cheese and that it will reappear because they are entitled to their cheese. We are entitled to it because we have always had it and no-one should be able to take it away. But taken away it is. There is a stage in the story when Haw realises that the only way to survive is to overcome his fears and go back into the maze to look for new cheese. Throughout Haw’s search of the maze, he has a number of revelations that he writes on the walls. There is one that I asked myself when deciding whether to change careers – What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?
(Who Moved My Cheese? – Dr Spencer Johnson)