March 6, 2017

I was recently given this minibook to read by a colleague. It is an allegory for human activity regarding complacency, change and fear. It is an excellent read. There are movie versions that are good for young kids although I encourage all to read the story aloud to your kids.

I have read this story to my kids to emphasize the key that when you stop being afraid, you feel good. Fear has long been the greatest risk for failure do to inaction. As Jamie Foxx once said, "what is on the other side of fear?.....NOTHING!"

The allegory tells the story of two mice and two miniature men living in a maze. They have to find the cheese to live. In the beginning the cheese is bountiful and they are all happy. As time progressed the cheese disappeared from the location that they always found it. The mice instinctively left to find new cheese immediately. The simple mind allowed for unfettered desire to leave and find new cheese. After time they succeeded in finding happiness again.

The little men had a complex thinking mind that initially impeded the necessary choices to move and discover what is new. This is the key part of the story. One of the men decided after a while that the change was better than staying with no cheese hoping for a miracle. The other man stayed in the comfort of what he new despite the lack of cheese or happiness. The fear of change was paralyzing. He just sat and complained about why he had his cheese taken. This theme reminds me of the amazing Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

I love this story because it is a great teaching tool for kids. I find that many young people of the current generation of 10-30 year olds are fearful of change and life in general. They often expect to be given things and not have to work hard for success. I believe that we are hurting our children if we foster this belief. Our children need to know that life is not always fair, it requires effort and that resilience in the face of fear to change is of paramount importance.

Dr. M