I sometimes wonder why people say â€œdon’t cry over spilt milk.â€? To me it is just a nice way of saying â€œI don’t want to blame you so just don’t worry about it.â€? I much prefer others to tell me where I have gone wrong – not tell me not to cry over spilt milk.
I stood before the fridge one Friday evening preparing to have my pre-bedtime snack, milk and cookies. I had craved them all week long and it was finally time. Filled with excitement, I took the last carton of milk out of the fridge with a wide grin on my face – typical five year old behavior. I quickly grabbed three cookies and turned around only to have my excitement snap like a rubber band. I had spilled the milk and was definitely on the verge of crying. As always, was where she was needed. Her soothing voice said to me, â€œdon’t cry over spilt milkâ€? as she quickly cleaned up the mess. I stood quietly with a very sad look and suddenly heard myself answer back somewhat angrily, â€œwhat if it is the last glass of milk left?â€? I was five; I had been dreaming about this moment all week; there was no milk left and I didn’t know how to handle disappointment. To me, my mum was trying to say it didn’t matter when it really did. I received a long scolding about talking back to adults and went to bed on a very empty stomach.
Since that day, I have been able to encourage myself by acknowledging my faults anytime I do something wrong. I didn’t tell myself not to cry over spilt milk anytime we lost a soccer game because I knew I could have played better. Instead, I spurred myself on to play my best till the game was over. I also didn’t tell myself not to cry over spilt milk when I didn’t do too well in a class because I knew it was because of the many times I didn’t pay attention because I thought the teacher was boring. Instead, I payed attention more often in class despite the teacher. And voila! It worked!
Today, I am 13 years older and the practice is still the same. I have heard this phrase used so many times; I hear it when someone fails a paper; I hear it when someone loses a valuable item, I even hear it when a guy doesn’t have a date for the school dance. I wonder if these people are ready to admit their faults and do things right or are letting themselves off the hook and setting themselves up for another failure by saying, â€œdon’t cry over spilt milk.â€?
I believe in crying over spilt milk, I believe in seeing spilt milk as an opportunity for success because I can realize my faults and change them for the better when I go wrong.
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