Is there need for lengthy explanation?
Childish beings look out for themselves,
While Buddhas labour for the good of others:
See the difference that divides them!
– Shantideva (Way Of The Bodhisattva)
The Buddha, who loved all beings like his only child, said:
To benefit beings is to benefit me;
To harm beings is to harm me.
Just as a mother rejoices when someone is helpful to her child,
My heart gladdens when someone is helpful to any being.
Just as a mother is distressed when someone harms her child,
My heart is distressed when someone harms any being.
To have love (loving-kindness) and compassion for all beings as if each one was your only child is by far the best way to repay the Buddha’s kindness, and to help them is the most supreme offering to the Buddha. As he himself said:
Incense, flowers, lamps, and so on are not the best offering to the Buddha;
The best offering to the Buddha is to benefit all beings –
Your offering will delight all Buddhas and make all beings happy.
There is no other way to please the Victorious Ones than to bring all beings to happiness.
To have overflowing love and unbearable compassion for all beings, therefore, is the best way to fulfill the wishes of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. As a beginner you may not be able to help beings outwardly very much, but you should meditate constantly on love and compassion until your whole being is imbued with them.
The Heart Of Compassion:
The Thirty-Seven Verses On Practices Of A Bodhisattva