September 6, 2009

Book review: Most Good, Least Harm (Zoe Weil)

This book can be thought of in a similar vein to Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits for Highly Effective People; think of it as Habits for Highly Mindful People.  Weil presents some fairly straightforward suggestions for the average reader looking to lead a life of more meaning and less negative impact.  My only complaint with the book is that the author takes a good idea and turns it into a clever marketing acronym: MOGO (MOst GOod, Least Harm).  Coming from the acronym-filled field of education, I could do with a few less in my life, not a few more.

Beyond that, this is a book that takes a careful look at virtually all aspects of living and presents mindful alternatives to what might be considered “mainstream” living. Similar to Covey’s work, Weil provides a questionnaire and method for developing an action plan, indicating that she intends the reader to take her ideas into the real world and utilize them, rather than leave them as a “oh, this is nice; I should do these when I get around to it.”

For those wishing to explore further the idea of Most Good, Least Harm, there is a list of resources ranging from books to films to websites and more included in the back of the book.  From Atria Books/Beyond Words Publishing and available at your local, independent bookstore. (Shop local, shop independent, and tell ’em you saw it on Elephant Journal!)

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