We’ve all done it: we broke a dish in the kitchen and chunks of ceramic or glass exploded everywhere; we spilled a glass of milk – or a carton of the stuff – and the liquid spread all over the counter, floor, or dining table. Some clumsy thing we’ve done not only caused a mess or ruined our favorite game-day coffee mug (I speak from recent experience), but now we have to clean it up.
If you live in a household with someone else and he or she is present when you inadvertently make a mess, you should be rewarded for your clumsiness with a clean-up by that other person. This is a tradition that I learned from my mother, who learned it from her mother.
I don’t remember what I did that made a mess when I first learned that lesson – let’s pretend that it was a glass of spilled milk and that the spilling of the milk wasn’t an intentional act of child rebellion on my part – but my mother walked into the kitchen and said, “I’ll take over from here, you go and do something else.”
“But mom, I spilled it, I should clean it up.”
“No, you feel bad enough for having spilled the milk, you shouldn’t have to clean it up as well.”
Ever since that mishap many decades ago, I’ve never let anyone clean up after themselves when they’ve fumbled and bungled something that made a mess in the process. I prefer to spread the kindness that my mother extended to me: a kindness that was also extended to her as a child.
From generation to generation, kindness is timeless.
Spilled Milk by Irene Olson, www.babyboomersandmore.com
Please share this wonderful lesson using the buttons below. Thank you.