The idea that "the self is an illusion" has become the bien pensant common sense of the day in many educated circles in the West. I think this is profoundly misguided, but I can see why it seems so compelling. In the English language, nouns label things while verbs label the things that they do. If you mistook this linguistic quirk for a deep philosophical truth then you would of course conclude that the self doesn't exist, because there is no single thing that "I" or "you" refers to. That is because on close examination "I" turns out to be a verb disguised as a noun.
My general philosophy is to do some real good in the short run, while learning how to scale that up in the long run -- to the entire planet in maybe 20 years. I'm also very committed to helping people from the bottom up, to give people a break that rarely get one, and to help give a voice to the voiceless.