We may say, and even half-believe, that compassion is marvellous, but in practice our actions are deeply uncompassionate and bring us and others mostly frustration and distress, and not the happiness we are all seeking.
Isn’t it absurd that we all long for happiness, yet nearly all our actions and feelings lead us directly away from that happiness?
What do we imagine will make us happy? A canny, self-seeking, resourceful selfishness, the selfish protection of ego, which can as we all know, make us at moments extremely brutal. But in fact the complete reverse is true: Self-grasping and self-cherishing are seen, when you really look at them, to be the root of all harm to others, and also of all harm to ourselves.
—Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, chapter 12