Buddhist systematic thought recognizes that few understood selflessness or emptiness. So rather than founding its compassionate ideals in an ethic of self-abnegation rooted in ontological deconstruction of the self, they advocated a productive paradox in which concern for others leads to maximum self-benefit, even in worldly terms of health, security, wealth and prestige. On the personal, social and political levels, compassion blesses and protects the compassionate. Rather than a concession to idealism, compassion, including care for the disenfranchised and benevolent foreign policy, was regarded as the practical foundation of a healthy state. This chapter discusses classic themes of sameness of self and other, benefit of self and other, and protection of self and other, and illustrates a fluorescence of social activism and philanthropy across Asia.