Zoe Weil Revealed
About Zoe Weil
What is your birthdate?:7/13
Previous occupations:I've been a humane educator for over 20 years, and all my jobs prior to that were leading me in that direction
Favorite job:The one I have now as president and head of faculty at the Institute for Humane Education
High school and/or college:I went to the Nightingale-Bamford School for girls for 12 years and then received my B.A. and M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School
Favorite movie:Harold and Maude
Favorite television show:Star Trek, by far
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Joyfully trying to live the MOGO principle
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. My life is my message
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. Living a meaningful life in which we try to do the most good and the least harm to all and engage in authentic, caring relationships leads to happiness.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. My greatest fear is not living fully, deeply, and kindly and thus, having significant regrets.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. Right where I am.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. My role model is Mahatma Gandhi.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. I admire so many people; I can't name one, but right now I especially admire Barack Obama and Van Jones
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. MOGO!
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. That my father didn't live long enough to meet my husband or son or know what I did with my life.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. Being a comedian.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. My contribution to the growing comprehensive humane education movement
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. I react to things too quickly.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. A lifelong commitment to self reflection that leads me to live with greater integrity
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. I would be myself, with fewer flaws
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. The first thing that surprises people when they have read my books and they meet me is that I'm short
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Medea in Claude and Medea. I wrote this book so it's no wonder Medea is my favorite fictional hero!
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. The black oily thing in Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. Mahatma Gandhi. Thank you.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. Rudeness, snottyness.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. I have more than one: hiking, ice skating, swimming on a hot day in a pond or the ocean, x-country skiing, observing nature, laughing
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. I love my profession as a humane educator, president of the Institute for Humane Education, and writer, but my fantasy profession would be hosting The Daily Show and being as funny as Jon Stewart
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Kindness, Humor, Integrity
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Avocados
On Books and Writing
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. Roald Dahl short stories
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Write what you know and what you're passionate about.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. There isn't one I can think of, but now I'll pay more attention!
- Q. How did you come to write Most Good, Least Harm?
- A. The MOGO Principle - doing the most good and the least harm to myself, other people, animals and the environment, is the guiding principle of my life. I'm a humane educator who teaches about the interconnected issues of human rights, environmental preservation, animal protection and culture, and I wanted to give readers what I've been trying to give my students: knowledge, tools, and inspiration for a rewarding journey toward a better world and a more meaningful life