Neglect is not benign when humans choose to live like this. It's like abuse. This complete lack of attention we give our bodies can be a destructive force, a slow death, the opposite of growth and joy.
Humans also abuse their bodies on the other extreme though -- through a domineering willpower. They get an idea of how this body of theirs should act, perform, work, workout, study, eat and how it should look like. Then, they go wild into willing it into some kind of look or behavior and in the process might put their bodies through all kinds of ordeals. This is the most ominous kind of abuse because there is such a sincere desire (usually) to "improve" health, fitness or welling, to "improve" our productivity, to "improve" our looks or physique.
We are so conditioned to think and act this way, too. It's seen as completely normal in society, in our gym culture, our Fitness Industrial Complex. Feel the Burn, Push, Just Do It. However, in the process, the relationship we develop with our bodies can get skewed, one-sided. We do all the talking, or in some cases all the screaming, while our bodies are like oxen in a field, whipped relentlessly under the noon-day sun. There is no listening, receptivity, care or love going on to what is our most important relationship in our life, that of our mind with our body.
So whenever my mind starts acting like a cruel slave-driver to this body that it should feel privileged of living in, I adopt the approach of master to beloved pet. If my body is feeling tired, I let it rest more. If it wants to walk bare-foot through wet grass, I let it. If it is feeling incredibly focused, I channel that into work. If it only feels like doing a few of favorite asana poses, then that's all I do. Sometimes just sitting cross-legged for a few minutes in front of a fire is enough. Other times this body wants to move and groove and stretch for hours at a time. My body, my pet.