/ne'gleckt/ verb 1). Fail to care for properly.
Noun 1. the state or fact of being uncared for
I recently had my annual physical and had to fill out the required questionnaire about my health. I went down the long list of ailments and conditions and checked the "no" box all the way down. No, I don't have depression, diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, allergies, asthma, cancer, cardio problems, and on and on and on.
However, my doctor did suggest that I was two or three pounds overweight. I since have taken that off.
My doctor always seems amazed that I'm one of the few patients of his who take no medication. He's used to all of his patients taking some kind of prescription drug. Maybe I don't because I've been blessed with good health or maybe because I have good health because since 1999 I've been conscious of staying fit and active.
I don't take good health for granted. If you don't have your health, you don't have much.
Most people neglect to take care of themselves. They are content with a sedentary lifestyle, sitting on the couch, stuffing their faces with products laced with high fructose sugar and processed food and filling their minds with mindless rot. Sure, like anyone I feel aches and pains in joints the older I get. Even Jack LaLane slowed down as he got older.
Neglect is widespread. I decided to make a list of the areas people neglect:
1). They neglect their bodies. When I'm running in the morning, I notice how few others are. We live in a world where people try to park as close as possible to the front of the store or theater or wherever, as if a short walk would kill us. Ok, sure, it's work to work out or to run or walk. But I feel like sludge if I don't push myself. No pain, no gain, as they say.
2). They neglect their property. If your house still has Christmas lights from 2014 still hanging from the eves, yeah, I'm sorry, you're neglecting your property. Going along with that is dead landscaping or junk. I get the feeling as I drive neighborhoods that the drought was just a good excuse for some to let their lawns die because they secretly didn't want to mow the grass. That is an out-and-out case of laziness for sure. Of course, I understand those who are too old to do it, but I also see my 76-year-old dad run every morning - because years ago I suggested he do so - and he climbs the roof when necessary and even cuts palm trees on his property. He decided he would stay active as long as possible, which is a good thing. I watch his uncle abuse his body with alcohol and smoking and when he was my dad's age couldn't even get out of his chair to walk. Far too many people equate retirement to giving up being physical.
3). They neglect relationships because they can't seem to think of others very well. When was the last time you visited an elderly family member in the rest home? When was the last time you called a friend or dropped by for a visit? Or, put away the cell phones while out to dinner? When was the last time you turned off the TV and engaged in conversation or played a game, or took a walk in the park with the family? If you want to neglect your relationship, stop talking, take your loved one for granted, stop expressing your feelings, stop listening, nitpick,stop having fun, or just plain ignore them.
4). They neglect their souls. I know our education system overlooks the fact that we are human beings who have souls, but Americans are sorely neglecting their souls. If you think about it, churches are places for introspection and correction of attitudes and actions. No wonder there are so many empty chairs in church. It's kind of why there are a lot of empty gyms. It takes effort and sometimes it's not fun. They dismiss God so they don't have to face judgment and are free to do things their own way. They neglect worship of God. Mahatma Gandhi said, "When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator." The beauty in the world didn't just happen, folks, it was created. It's time to give God his due and quit worshiping what He created.
5). They neglect being grateful. If you want to be happy, adopt an attitude of gratitude. Steve Maraboli in "Life, the Truth and Being Free" said: "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive-to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love - then make that day count!"
6). They neglect their community. They don't do anything for anybody. Never lend a helping hand, never donate to charity, and never join a church or club. They have no qualms about throwing down trash or tacking up a yard sign and leave it up after the sale. They drive on the road like they are the only ones who matter; they speed, blast their stereos, cut people off and blow through red lights. Sometime they even hit and run because all that matters is them to them. When was the last time you gave something to help out? When was the last time you picked up trash they you didn't throw down?
7). They neglect their purpose in life. They never set goals and perish for it. They don't realize the truism of the Benjamin Franklin saying, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."
8). They neglect their minds. Most people can tell a stranger the last TV show they watched but are unable to say the last book they read. Research indicates that people who lead intellectually stimulating lives are more likely to be free of dementia conditions like Alzheimer's disease.
9). They neglect their creativity. How does a person know they don't have a talent for drawing or writing or painting or creating crafts unless they try? Sometimes being creative means breaking with tradition or schedule.
10). They neglect their personal appearance. This may go back to item #2 but many people neglect their own appearance to the point of others' ridicule. Neglect of personal hygiene could be a sign of Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD.
Life isn't easy for some people but we shouldn't allow neflect to be a hallmark of our lives. As James Wyatt said, "Lost are many great commissions by such neglect."
How do you feel? Let Jeff know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.