Altruism has two aspects. Loving others does not mean that we should forget ourselves. When I say that we should be compassionate, this does not mean helping others at the expense of ourselves. Not at all. Sometimes I say that the buddhas and bodhisattvas are the most selfish of all. Why? Because by cultivating altruism they achieve ultimate happiness. We, in our selfishness, are very foolish and narrow-minded. All we do is create more suffering for ourselves. The selfishness of the buddhas and bodhisattvas is functional and efficient. It allows them not only to achieve awakening, but also the capacity to help others. That is really worthwhile. For me, this proves that to create maximum happiness for oneself, one needs to develop compassion, This is Buddhist logic. If compassion induced misery, then it would be questionable. Why practice something that brings us more trouble? But that is certainly not the case with compassion. Just imagine if we all lived with no compassion, thinking only of ourselves. We would suffer greatly. The more you think of others, the happier you are.
Source: Imagine All the People: A Conversation with the Dalai Lama on Money, Politics, and Life as it Could Be, Pages: 46
Contributed by: HeyOK