Neglect Is Illegal

Lots of inactions are against the law and neglect is one of them. Neglecting babies, children, people who are disabled, and the elderly is illegal in life because they are defenseless and dependent on others for survival. However, neglect of capable adults is not illegal in life.


Neglect in love is definitely illegal though.


That fact bears repeating. Neglect in love is illegal. Neglect goes against the Law of Love. When neglect happens between people who love each other, the bond of communion is threatened with starvation.


Presence is food. Neglect is famine.


I know this truth well. I’ve neglected people I love and people I love have neglected me. There are multiple variables involved in such situations. They’re not simple and clean. There are a bunch of sides to every story and hearing the key vantage points is crucial for understanding. Because of the multitude of perspectives and a lack of space, I’ll not discuss details of scenarios of neglect here, just outcomes:


  • Neglect, in love, can cripple self-esteem. It translates as a lack of interest and concern.
  • Neglect, in love, can detract from self-confidence. It communicates a lack of perceived value.
  • Neglect, in love, can incite fear. It solidifies ideas of worthlessness.
  • Neglect, in love, can trigger anger. It fans the flame of indignation and resentment, even bitterness.


See? This is why neglect, in love, is illegal. When neglect is in effect, love can’t grow.


Thick Nhat Hahn presents the following script for reconciliation and communion after neglect (whether intentional or unintentional). Through it, he provides words to say to one’s partner, lover, friend, family member, or even a perceived “enemy,” when either party has neglected or been neglected (or, as is common, experienced both experiences with killing and dying). These words – when spoken with sincerity and coupled with responsive action – can heal neglect and right the pain it causes. To a counterpart, Hahn suggests you say:


Darling, I’m here for you.


Darling, I know you’re there.


Darling, I know you suffer, that is why I’m here for you.


Darling, I suffer. Please help me too.


To learn methods that make these words true in your heart and come alive in your life, connect with me today. It’s important because breaking the laws of love means breaking your heart and other’s, without end.





Jeanine Staples is Associate Professor of Literacy and Language & African American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her book, The Revelations of Asher: Toward Supreme Love in Self, is an endarkened, feminist, new literacies event (Peter Lang, spring 2016). In it, she explores Black women’s terror in love. She produces research-based courses and methodologies that enable marginalized girls and women to realize internal revelations that fuel external revolutions.

Dr. Staples’ next book details the evolution of her acclaimed undergraduate course, The Philadelphia Urban Seminar. In it, she explores Supreme Love in schools. She shows how she generates curriculum and methodologies that incite anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-ableist pedagogical stances among teachers interested in urban education and equity for all people in schools and society.


Click here to join the Supreme Love Project group to ask Jeanine questions and comment on the blog.