1.) I would say studying reality is a good start. Basically, you need to understand cause and effect, karma. Only then you'll become compassionate the right way, which means you don't feel bad when seeing suffering. Your past situation never assures your future situation. You may become to struggle. If not with having a comfortable life, then with other things, like health, old age, loss of a loved one.
2.) There are many ways to contribute, help. But you need to understand your limits. Maybe accepting that you can't help everyone. Struggling has a cause, usually stinginess even theft in the past. The current Nama-Rupa combination may not be aware of past wrongdoings, but it's there latently in the mindstream.
Also important to understand that, when you give or being compassionate you are benefiting your own mind, your own future in the first place, not the other persons. And you see, if only they could know that this is how it works? How quickly could their situation change if they had a different mindset?