Proverb – American

Don’t cry over spilled milk

My informant learned this proverb as a child around the age of seven.  The context in which she learned this was when she was complaining about a doll that she broke on accident and her mother told her “don’t cry over spilled milk.”  Sherri remembers her mother teaching her these life lessons through simple rhymes or proverbs.  She says she remembered the lessons her mother taught her through sayings more so than the lessons she learned through regular conversation.

Sherri explained to me that the meaning of this is “don’t worry about things that happened in the past and you can’t control.”  In other words, one shouldn’t dwell over bad things that can’t be fixed.  She said this proverb is important to her because it helped her learn an invaluable lesson at a young age and it is something she was able to teach her children years ago as well.  She went on to say that although it is directed more towards children, many adults should hear this proverb as they, like children, “cry over spilled milk.”  I, like Sherri, believe it is important to dwell on the past as there is nothing one can do to change it.

I believe this is a good proverb to teach to young children as it helps instill in them the fact that there is no need to worry about things that happened in the past, but rather that they should be more interested with what the future entails for them.