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Monday, August 10, 2015

Benign Neglect – The Antithesis of Goodwill

In what way, small or large, did you "make peace" with someone this past week? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 856).


Psalm 122:6-9 (NIV)

 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
    and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your prosperity.


[Benign neglect] is today more widely known as a type of laissez-faire policy, in which a lack of regulation or investment is allowed in the belief that it will improve, or at least not hurt, the interests of the "neglected" group. Benign neglect is also used as to mean divestment from under-served communities, with the implication that resources will be diverted to preferred communities, usually suburbs. (

It's interesting how we can assert that "benign neglect" is advisable in areas that are hard to track (such as nuances in relationships), while no one would suggest that "benign neglect" would be helpful in terms of house maintenance--fixing the roof or keeping it painted. Goodwill inherently includes the concept of steadiness.  "Hit or miss" goodwill is tantamount to implementing in relationships a policy of gradual structural degradation. Turning that around, as  occurred in my life last week,  depends upon appreciating  this simple fact.

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