This I Believe

Hiram - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on November 2, 2008
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I sometimes wonder why people say “don’t cry over spilt milk.â€? To me it is just a nice way of saying “I 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, “don’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, “what 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, “don’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.