Please note: ChooseMOGO.org is currently on hiatus as of 5/16/09. Check back occasionally for updates.
WHAT IS MOGOSM*?
The concept is easy: the choices we make every day can either support a compassionate, sustainable, just world, or can support a world full of destruction, injustice and suffering. Actually making simple, sustainable, compassionate choices an integral part of our life and ensuring that our lives are joyful, balanced, and reflect our deepest values is a much more challenging task — especially in a world that focuses on and rewards qualities like individualism, fear, greed, and materialism. Trying to make a positive difference can sometimes feel overwhelming and hopeless.
But, imagine discovering your life’s purpose, gaining support, making a difference, and finding joy all at the same time. That’s what MOGOSM is all about.
MOGOSM (Most Good) is a philosophy developed by Zoe Weil, author, humane educator and co-founder and President of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). Zoe has given the Portland MOGOSM group kind permission to use the MOGOSM name for our group. Portland’s MOGOSM Group is the first of its kind in the country! The gist of MOGOSM is to become aware of the impact of your choices and to make choices that do the most good and least harm for everyone: you, other people, animals and the planet.
ABOUT PORTLAND’S MOGOSM GROUP
Portland’s MOGOSM (Most Good) Group is dedicated to promoting humane living choices that recognize and respect the interconnectedness of all of us. The MOGOSM group is for people who care about all global justice issues (human rights, animal protection, environmental preservation, media and culture) and who are interested in making positive changes in their own lives, as well as in helping positively transform their local and global communities.
The focus of Portland’s MOGOSM group is:
- Providing a support system for those wanting to journey toward a more simple, sustainable, compassionate lifestyle.
- Offering opportunities for social connection with others of similar mind.
- Cultivating and implementing a variety of projects that serve our local and global communities.
General MOGOSMGlobal Justice Issues:
- Human Rights
- Animal Protection
- Environmental Preservation
- Media & Culture
For general philosophical purposes, below are Keys to MOGOSM and 10 Principles of a MOGOSM Life, both developed by Zoe Weil.
Keys to MOGOSM:
1. Live Your Epitaph.
2. Pursue Joy Through Service.
3. Make Connections and Self-Reflect.
4. Model Your Message and Work for Change.
5. Find and Create Community.
6. Take Responsibility.
7. Strive for Balance
10 Principles of a MOGOSM Life:
- Commit to the 3 Is: Inquire, Introspect, and live with Integrity. Expose yourself to information and ideas about MOGO living by talking to and learning from people from all walks of life who are also trying to do the most good and the least harm; by reading widely and deeply; by visiting websites aimed at making a difference, and by viewing relevant films. Then introspect: identify your values, consider what is most important to you, assess your talents and interests, and seek out ways to put these together practically and productively. Finally, live with integrity. To the best of your ability, put your values into practice.
- Work for change. Give some of your time, resources, and talents to create systemic change that benefits all. Choose the issues that most concern and compel you, get involved, and relish the joy that such generosity brings to yourself and others. If you can, make your career one that is MOGO.
- Rethink, reuse, repair, and recycle. As much as possible, rethink your use of products that are unnecessary, inhumane, produced through exploitive business practices, non-recyclable, toxic, and/or unsustainable. When you do make purchases, choose the most sustainable, efficient, humane, fairly traded, and healthy versions. Then reuse what you can, repair what is reparable, and recycle when you are through. And in the midst of these 4 Rs consider what you could borrow instead of buy, and what you could share with friends and neighbors so that they can better rethink unnecessary products, too.
- Eat for life. As much as possible choose plant-based foods produced close to where you live, grown organically, and unprocessed. This will improve your health, the environment, the lives of animals, and the well-being of other people.
- Reduce your ecological footprint. Drive less, carpool, walk, bike, car-share, and use public transportation more. If you need to own a car, choose one with the best fuel efficiency to meet your needs. Choose the most energy efficient and ecologically friendly options for homes, home repair, appliances, lighting, heating, and cooling. Choose your recreation and vacations with MOGO in mind as well. An ecotourism excursion over a cruise. Crosscountry skiing instead of downhill skiing. Canoeing more often than motorboating.
- Transform education. People need relevant information, tools for critical thinking, and motivation to lead meaningful lives that contribute to a better world. Whether you are a parent, student, teacher, or concerned citizen, help make living sustainably and peacefully the very purpose of education by engaging in dialogue with lawmakers, educators, and school and university administrators.
- Invest your money ethically. If you are going to rely on a mutual fund for retirement or college, choose a socially responsible investment fund. Ask for a portfolio and assess whether the company invests in the kinds of businesses you want to support. Seek out community banks and credit unions and consider microlending as a means of using your investment money to help others.
- Build community. Find others who share your desire to make MOGO choices by joining existing groups or creating your own group, and invite people to join you. You will enjoy the friendship and camaraderie and help make a difference at the same time. Don’t forget the communities in which you are already a part. Get to know your neighbors and work with them to make your neighborhood healthy, supportive, and safe.
- Teach others. Share what you know and learn with others to engage them in the challenge of living a MOGO life, using positive communication that does not judge or blame. Listen as often as you speak. Teaching and learning happens everywhere: one on one, in schools, in religious congregations, at camps, in families, in print and film, at learning centers, on social networking Internet sites, at elder facilities, etc. Model your message and speak your truth in kind and inspiring ways wherever you are and with whomever you’re in contact.
- Strive for balance. Set reasonable goals for yourself and remember the “most good, least harm” equation includes you. You are a role model for a MOGO life, so find the balance that lets you live joyfully, enthusiastically, and compassionately.