I think most people are just trying to be happy, and that most of their actions, however misguided, are in line with that goal. Most people just want to feel they belong somewhere, want to be loved, and want to feel they're important to someone. If you really examine all the wrongheaded and messed-up things they do, they can most often be traced back to that basic desire. The abusers, the addicted, the cruel and unpleasant, the manipulators --these are just people who started this quest for happiness in the basement of their lives. Someone communicated to them through word or deed that they were undeserving, so they think they have to claw their way there over the backs of others, leaving scars and creating damage. Of course, they only create more misery for themselves and others.
Others of us are lost. We're forever seeking. We torture ourselves with philosophies and ache to see the world. We question everything, even our own existence. We ask a lifetime of questions and are never satisfied with the answers because we don't recognize anyone as an authority to give them. We see life and the world as an enormous puzzle that we might never understand, that our questions might go unanswered until the day we die, almost never occurs to us. And when it does, it fills us with dread.