Although the focus is self-improvement, it isn't egocentric, narcissistic and selfish actions. It - essentially - is an act of virtue, tolerance and strength of character. The willingness to focus on the similarities, rather than the differences between people. Neither is it a passive action, because only people that have wisdom, temperance, justice and courage within themselves, can bring about positive change in others and actually make a difference in the end.
In conjunction with wisdom, temperance, justice and courage; we should also realize that everything around us operate and happens in an integrated web of cause and effect… and that all our choices, decisions and actions have consequences for others and the environment. Thus, although we don't always have control over the events or circumstances effecting us, we can choose to and exercise control over how we perceive, approach and/or deal with that what is happening to us.
Sustaining a harmonious self-development and growth quest in life that has real meaning, true purpose and which actually is fulfilling, isn't an easy accomplishment and there are plenty of hurdles that - if we ain't aware of them - convincingly and subtly force us to follow an “exsistence-just-to-pay-the-bills”-path in life. Therefore, the virtues of wisdom, temperance, justice and courage should be productively directed and steered by a flowing water philosophy.