A Tail Of Success – Never Give Up. Hurry and Scurry’s story
I was singing to myself in the shower this morning and pondering life. As I stood under the jet of water enjoying the warmth of the spray this little story came to me.
A group of rats were put in a maze for 3 months to see how they would survive. At first they scurried about looking for a way to escape but then they found that at each corner of the maze was a lever and the rats soon learned that if they pressed the lever they would earn a reward such as a piece of cheese. The rats became lazy and complacent and ceased to look for an exit, relying only on the cheese for survival.
Then one day the scientists deciding to stop leaving the cheese behind the levers. The rats then learned that pressing the lever didn’t result in a reward. This effected the reward centres in the rats brains and without their usual dopamine release of finding a piece of cheese to spur them on, the rats became depressed and many of them gave up and stopped pressing the levers. Sporadically the scientists would leave the odd bit of cheese now and again, so those that tried hardest obtained the cheese. Some of the rats lucked out though here as there wasn’t enough cheese to go around so more of the rats died.
The rats began to fight amongst themselves and this used up more of their energy. Some were wounded and died quicker and others died of starvation.
Finally there were three rats left in the maze. They had avoided getting into fights with the other rats and instead had began to search for ways to escape.
Einstein once said that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
These two little rats had realised that the cheese wasn’t coming and decided to try a different tactic. They found a side in the maze that was made of thinner wood and much weaker. So they began to gnaw side by side, chewing on the construction of the maze. The maze was hardy and their teeth soon became sore but they persisted. The rats were starving and exhausted but soon began to see a little tiny hole in the maze. They kept gnawing and chewing and burrowing and soon they could pop a paw out through the hole. Throughout the night the rats took it in turns to gnaw, sleeping to recharge their batteries and then began gnawing once more. Eventually they made a hole begin enough in the maze to escape.
As they made their exit they smelt something glorious! A big box full of cheese sandwiches. The rats ran to the sandwiches with joy. Two of the rats took a mouthful for energy but anxious to make their getaway they then ran on looking for a way to escape. One of the rats stopped and ate until it was bloated. It was tired and decided to sleep. As it slept, a scientist found him, picked it up and popped the poor thing back into the maze and sealed the hole.
Meanwhile, the other two rats had found a hole in the skirting board and had gotten out of the laboratory. They had run far away and were now enjoying running through the grass and feeling the sunshine on their whiskers.
The moral of this story:
- Don’t give up.
- If something isn’t working look for different solutions to the problem.
- Don’t become complacent
- Don’t let laziness or greed prevent you from reaching your objectives.
- Don’t be a sheep. Don’t copy the poor habits of others, be Hurry or Scurry.
Hurry and Scurry the two lab rats are now settled in a barn on a plush grassy hillside. They now have a little crew of smaller rats who they tell to stay away from men in white coats. Hurry and Scurry can’t face eating cheese anymore and have dramatically changed their diet and now feast on succulent berries and other nutritious foods.