What does it mean to do the most good and the least harm? How can this become a guiding principle, and how can one always know the answer? After all, we can’t predict the future; we can’t know every detail of every effect of our choices, and it can be awfully difficult to balance our own desires against the needs of others. It’s easy to rationalize decisions that may be most good for us, but which may not be the most good for other people, other species, or the environment.
Whether we want to buy something from a company that exploits workers, harms animals, or damages the environment, take a less than eco-friendly vacation, or start a lucrative, not-necessarily-helpful-to-others career, if ‘most good, least harm’ is our guiding philosophy, we’ll be faced with the conflicts that sometimes arise between our desire to be a positive influence in the world, and, well, other, less noble desires.
The trick to allowing MOGO to become an effortless guiding principle is to realize that it’s impossible to lead a perfectly MOGO life, but it is possible to lead a life in which one’s personal desires more often than not match one’s ethical values. The reason this is so is because it is deeply rewarding and satisfying to lead a life aligned with one’s values, and that’s what MOGO helps us do. In other words, by making MOGO choices, we improve our own life as a matter of course.
What MOGO challenges have you faced? How have you resolved them?