Only a small percentage of people are truly concerned with the welfare of others, not their own. One analogy in the sutras is as follows: Sow grains to reap grains, but straws need not be sown as it can be reaped without volition. (Sowing grains is likened to the bodhisattvas’ practice of the six perfections; grains, the welfare of sentient beings; and straws, the welfare of one’s own). Another analogy is: Make a fire to cook rice and have rice to eat, but smoke need not be attended to as it will arise naturally from the fire. (Making a fire to cook rice has the same connotation as sowing grains; rice, the same as grains; and smoke, the same as straws). What these analogies tell us is that although our capability is limited, if we can truly let go or set aside our own concerns—not just those in this life but also liberation in the future—and focus wholeheartedly and unconditionally on benefiting others, our own welfare will take care of itself.
~Depicted from GATEWAY TO VAJRAYANA PATH - Vajra Master and Empowerment