Bodhisattva or Bust
The Buddha’s goal was liberation from suffering. He wanted this goal for everyone and he couched it as an individual’s achievement. Individuals awaken. Now, of course, as the Buddha he helped countless people to reach enlightenment. Bodhisattvas are people who make a vow to work towards their own awakening (or enlightenment) as the best way to serve humanity. They want everyone, without exception, to awaken. They use the tools of wisdom, compassion, emptiness, and love to help others and themselves to move towards enlightenment.
The dispute between Mahayana and other forms of Buddhism hinges on the concept of rebirth. As long as beings are not liberated, they will be reborn upon death. This cycle will repeat itself over and over again. If they are lucky, they will get a human rebirth, but even this isn’t guaranteed. Once beings are liberated, they escape the cycle of life of death and never experience suffering, stress, anguish, or dissatisfaction again.