His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “The highest perfection of altruism, the ultimate altruism, is Bodhichitta complemented by wisdom. Bodhichitta – the aspiration to bring about the welfare of all sentient beings and to attain Buddhahood for their sake – is really the distilled essence, the squeezed juice of all the Buddha’s teachings.” Which is a very direct definition of Absolute and Relative Bodhichitta, the realization of and openness to our connection to all sentient beings, our wish to relieve them of their suffering, and to attain enlightenment in order to be of the greatest benefit to them.
There is the story of the student who asks his teacher, “Master what can I do to help all the suffering beings in the world?” and the Master answers, “Indeed, what can you do?” Here we are, sentient beings ourselves, with all our suffering and confusion. How can we possibly help? The only thing we can do is to begin to cultivate some understanding, some insight, and the more we learn the more we can help. Therefore, to be of maximum benefit to others, the answer is to become enlightened ourselves… to become a Buddha.