Cry over spilled milk: To dwell pointlessly on past misfortunes
There are two problems with old sayings.
- First, they’re old.
- Second, they’re sayings, not doings.
In other words, something can be spoken and make complete sense until it’s applied into everyday life.
I think such is the case with “don’t cry over spilled milk.”
What I mean is, who should not cry over spilled milk?
If you’re a baby and the milk has been spilled, you’re talking about your sustenance, your well-being and the looming possibility of starvation.
If you’re a young person who’s just learning to handle the milk carton, you realize there may be good reason to cry. Punishment is looming and the resulting lack of trust may throw you back months from being respected enough to handle containers.
If you’re a mother or father, you might cry over spilled milk because you spent your last dollar at the grocery store for that milk, and it might mean that by Friday somebody has to eat dry cereal.
And if you happen to be in the vicinity of where the milk is spilled and you’re a cow, you might be saddened that your gift has been so poorly used.
Spilled milk is not necessarily something to weep over, but I can see different individuals who might shed a tear.
Crying over difficulty is not a sign of weakness.
We don’t become weak until we abandon our strengths.
And strength in human beings is this:
We can weep during the night—and joy can still come in the morning.