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Most Good, Least Harm

Written by Zoe Weil | Published on January 25, 2010 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2010/01/25/most-good-least-harm/

For the next few blog posts I’m going to share excerpts from my book, Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life.

My book, Most Good, Least Harm, “is based on a very simple premise: when we do the most good and the least harm through our daily choices, our acts of citizenship, our communities, our work, our volunteerism, and our interactions, we create inner and outer peace. I call this way of living ‘MOGO,’ short for ‘most good,’ and it has become the guiding principle of my life.

The MOGO principle is simple in theory, but it asks much of us. It requires a willingness to learn new information so that we might continually reexamine our lives with the greatest good in mind and commit to conscious and deliberate choice-making for the benefit of all. Doing so calls upon us to live with integrity, courage, wisdom, perseverance, and compassion. While at first glance this might seem quite challenging, embracing the MOGO principle is deeply rewarding. It puts us on a lifelong journey that helps us realize peace within ourselves as well as create a peaceful world.

I realize it can be very hard to imagine a peaceful world given the state of things: the horror of war, poverty, genocide, and human oppressions; the escalating degradation of the ecosystems on which all life depends; and the terrible cruelty that is perpetrated institutionally on animals. Yet we humans have faced seemingly insurmountable problems in the past, and we’ve triumphed many times. Apartheid in South Africa was eliminated. Mahatma Gandhi showed us that nonviolent resistance can topple an empire; and women gained the right to vote in democracies across the globe. Many people could not have imagined the end to many injustices prior to their demise. And, although humanity’s cruelties and failures persist, our positive achievements are enormous and unstoppable. These positive achievements have happened because individuals like you have chosen to make a difference.”

Zoe Weil, from Most Good, Least Harm

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