The essence of compassion is to copy how you relate with your child (in your relationships with others). The problem is how much you want to be the head of the family or the ringleader of your friends. You know, if that ambition is not there, but you have a genuine willingness to share, that is precisely the concept of sangha, or the Buddhist community, in traditional terms. You are willing to be friends with everybody, but at the same time you are not particularly taking credit. You don't make people depend on you. Everybody can stand on his or her own feet. The ideal of helping is to make others independent of you. You help them to become more independent rather than making them addicted to you.
From "The Practicing Lineage," in The Mishap Lineage: Transforming Confusion into Wisdom, page 7.