The Deleterious Effects of Inattention

By Greg Baer M.D.

March 2, 2016

In a recent period I was housebound for at least 45 days, with interventions and other occupations of my time. As a result I spent almost no time outside in the yard. Eventually I got on the ATV and inspected the mile or so of paths that crisscross and circle our property.

As I traveled, vines and small branches whipped at my face and body, and I had to stop to move logs that had fallen on to the path from trees overhead. I also discovered some effects of erosion that would need to be repaired later.

Most things of value have to be maintained, and if we neglect them, negative effects begin to appear. Under normal conditions I periodically trim the vines and branches that inevitably grow across any path cut through the forest, but without that attention I got smacked in the face several times as I drove on the path.

We’ve all seen what happens when a house or business is abandoned. Often with shocking speed, we see weeds grow up and widen cracks that previously had been invisible in the concrete. Paint peels. Wood rots. Rapidly the place begins to look run down.

The happiness in our lives requires a similar maintenance: diligent and frequent. When we attend to the maintenance, the results are delightful. When we don’t pay attention—which is so easy to justify—we begin to see the weeds and branches of fear, anger, addictions, and more that rapidly eliminate the sense of fulfillment we once enjoyed. We can always come up with a reason for neglecting maintenance, but regardless of the reason, we will pay the price.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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