Altruism is the practice of placing others before oneself. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and central to many religious traditions. In English, this idea was often described as the Golden rule of ethics. In Buddhism it is considered a fundamental property of human nature.
Altruism can be distinguished from a feeling of loyalty and duty. Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (e.g. God, a king), a specific organization (e.g. a government), or an abstract concept (e.g. country etc). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altrusim is giving without regard to reward or the benefits of recognition.