Water Under the Bridge

Sometimes it is best to just let things go, as bloodshed usually leads to more bloodshed.  Society uses punishment as a deterrence to prevent future crime and the fundamental aim of punishment should not be to inflict suffering on offenders, but instead to reassert the existence of the moral order that governs human life.  Letting go of things that happened in the past can be hard to do, especially when this involves strong emotional ties to events of consequence in our life because these things have a tendency to leave a memorable impression.  This impression might be positive, reminiscing involving a loved one that has passed on or a reflection on your past accomplishments, or maybe it is not so positive, reliving a relationship that just didn’t pan out or torturing ourselves over a dumb decision.

Holding onto negative things that have happened in the past allows those events to adversely impact on your present and future.  Admittedly, it can be difficult to ignore these thoughts, as our brain has a cleverly devious way of reminding us.  Only self-awareness coupled with a conscious decision to continue forth despite of the past will allow us to live a peaceful and meaningful life.  I despise unresolved issues, so I try to confront and resolve them as soon as possible which allows me to get on with my life thus freeing my mind to focus on more positive and productive things.  Instead of stewing over something, crying about the past, and worrying about things, I think that it is best to let certain things go, move on and walk away.

Every now and then I have to blow off some steam, but for the most part, I try to avoid conflict.  I have learned that there is no point in beating a dead horse and that not every problem has a solution.  People have a tendency to drag around a lot of extra baggage that does nothing but weigh them down.  These people don’t realize that life isn’t actually all about themselves and when they are dead and gone, their money, clothes, and other valuables, or the way they look will not matter anymore.

Things that happened in your past cannot be changed and if something unfortunate happened to you, that cannot be undone or rectified, then you should find a way to deal with that.  Water under the bridge is the same thing as water over the dam, because they are both gone forever and should be considered to be over and done and you should let bygones be bygones.  These two idioms are often mixed up and mixing up idioms occurs often enough that there is actually a name for this phenomenon and it’s called a malaphor.  People say, ‘water over the bridge’ and some also say, ‘water under the dam’, which makes no sense to me, as why would two words that both describe direction (over and under), and two structures that are in or over water (dams and bridges) ever get confused.  The mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one is called a malaprop and this can often create an amusing effect, but since I already covered this in a previous post titled ‘How Weird Are Words‘, that happened in the past and cannot now be changed I will move on.  What’s done is done, it is too late and pointless to try to change the past, as time stands still for no one.

It is best to move forward with your life, past matters are unimportant and not worthy of further consideration and as the river flows on, so does your life.  In the phrase, water under the bridge, the bridge might represent the permanent present, while the river represents life and time which always marches inexorably forward, as we have not found a way to reverse life or time yet.  All you can do is watch the water that has passed under the bridge, as this water should no longer be regarded as being important or as a source of any concern.  Don’t worry, be happy!

Written for September 27th, 2017 – Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday – Works for Them!

11 thoughts on “Water Under the Bridge

  1. “Things that happened in your past cannot be changed and if something unfortunate happened to you, that cannot be undone or rectified….”

    What? You mean there are no “do-overs” in real life?

    Liked by 1 person

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