About Zoe Weil
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. I've been a humane educator for over 20 years, and all my jobs prior to that were leading me in that direction
Q. Favorite job
A. The one I have now as president and head of faculty at the Institute for Humane Education
Q. High school and/or college
A. 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
Q. Favorite movie
A. Harold and Maude
Q. Favorite television show
A. 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?
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?
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