One day, a spider and a silkworm crossed paths and struck up a conversation. The spider said to the silkworm,
"I admit your silk is better than the silk from the spider. It is yellow and white, dazzling and bright. You use the silk that you spin yourself to make a beautiful comfortable cocoon, which you live inside thinking falsely you are kings. You dream in your little cocoon until the women put you in scalding hot water and peel your silk off strand by strand. Then your beautiful cocoons are all gone. What a shame, though you have the ability to create such beauty, then die because of it, is this not stupid?"
The silk worm thinking about what the spider said, answered:
"Our actions are actually like suicide, but we spin silk so that people can weave beautiful fabrics, giving all the people the ability to look beautiful. Can you really say our labor is a waste?
Look at you spider, your whole reason for weaving is to make a trap that will let you eat the little bugs that fly into it. You may not regret it, but don't you at least think that is a little cruel?"
Bowing his head, the spider left.
With his words, the silkworm reminded the spider that in the end, humanity makes wondrous things out of his thread, while the spider is killed and his webs are brushed away with a broom.
On one hand, many people think it is a waste to do things that do not personally benefit them. These people cannot understand why making sacrifices for the benefit of others would be either logical or acceptable. On the other hand, there are some people who are satisfied knowing that their sacrifices benefit others. They have learned the joy of service to others.
When we learn to look up from our small needs, leave our egos behind and look at the broader picture and needs of humanity, we have taken a significant step on the path to enlightenment.