When a person carries baggage more than his capacity to carry weight, his face becomes distorted in pain.
Similar is the case when one's personality carries the heavy load of ego and self-interest.
A constant conflict, a feeling of perpetual dissatisfaction and irritation with the self and the rest of the world are some of the obvious outcomes. This creates a huge barrier between the person who carries the baggage and all others who are around him. He becomes unpopular, unpleasant and emotionally volatile. We are aware of all this, yet we do not make efforts to reduce the weight of the baggage.
The Sankhya system of Indian philosophy says we must attain a state of salvation while still alive. In this state of mind, there is freedom from bondage. The mind has to be free of ego and its natural instinct to pursue self interest-based activities. However, that state of thoughtlessness has to come spontaneously and through practice for which simplicity of mind is a prerequisite. The more selfish we are, higher is the probability that we become complicated, losing simplicity of mind. Being materialistic, one loses the quality to appreciate, for example, the beauty of the dawn and to remain engrossed in it. If one cannot become engrossed, the state of thoughtlessness cannot prevail.
Aggregation of individual maximization may not lead to social maximization always. If each one of us pursues self-interest there can be possibility of conflict as two objectives can be contradictory to each other, leading to violence. Yet, two opposite beliefs can continue to appear rational in their own places and rights and hence, it will be difficult to reject one of them on the ground of rationality. However, selfless action - the capacity to think beyond 'i, me, myself' and to pursue action beyond those limits - can reduce substantially the possibility of such conflicting outcomes. Selfless action is, therefore, an important way of attaining salvation in life.
Altruistic individuals in a society dominated by self-centred people can get exploited. But that does not mean one has to give up the altruistic attitude or the desire to pursue selfless action.
Only selfless action can deliver peace and bliss. If we need peace in life let us not find fault with others; we need to identify our own pitfalls first. If we cut down on our heavy baggage of ego and self-interest a bit, it won't be difficult to realise the vastness within us and find joy in life.