Ha Huy Thanh is not only a writer but also a prominent Vietnamese businessman. He was born in March 1982 in Hà Tinh province in Vietnam. He is the author of ‘’Compassion’’ a book published in 2023 in Italy by the ‘’Torre dei Venti’’ publishing house. This short but dense book talks about compassion, that is, a human quality that, in this arid world devoid of values , he struggles to be present. Often, contemporary existensialism (especially that of Nietzschean inspiration) has misinterpreted the universal concept of compassion, relegating it to a morality for the poor and men without orientation. The exact opposite emerges from this interview.

Compassion means to suffer. Some saints often say that compassion begins with oneself. What do you think? 

Compassion means empathy and sympathy towards one’s issues, those of others, of humanity, indeed! But it’s not enough. Encompassing compassion is a profound understanding that includes understanding oneself, understanding others, and understanding circumstances. However, the principle of compassion is “Understanding, sharing, and creating solutions” to help individuals adapt and resolve personal and societal challenges or adversities. Because understanding oneself is a triadic structure: understanding oneself, others, and circumstances, the saints were right to say that compassion begins with oneself. That is correct, both theoretically and practically.

In chapter 2 of the book “Compassion,” I quoted St. Augustine:

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. 

I emphasize that understanding oneself is a great starting point and the foundation to build the value of compassion within oneself. It’s a journey of exploring inner significance, and if practiced, there will be a miraculous spiritual awakening occurring every day and in every aspect of life. I believe it’s the fundamental value of all virtues, understanding oneself to discover one’s essence and mission and serving that mission, which is human life’s beautiful and noble meaning. Each of us, whoever we are, always has a noble and beautiful essence within our consciousness; understanding oneself is the indispensable starting point of compassion, just as we are all born in the heart of a mother.

The German philosopher Nietzsche did not have a great concept of compassion because, according to him, it was not educational. Don’t we risk debasing ourselves by being too “generous of compassion”? 

Every scholar or philosopher possesses their thoughts and insights on life, and it’s commendable when they dare to articulate their viewpoints after deep contemplation. Compassion, with its genuine significance, doesn’t diminish us; instead, individuals regarded as brimming with compassion, such as God, Buddha, Mother Teresa, or saints, become even greater through their compassion. Because compassion primarily requires self-understanding and self-compassion, it helps us reconnect with inner strength, explore the pure, beautiful essence within each person, awaken senses and spiritual awareness, and foster enlightenment. Compassion is a way of life, a natural law, a source of human universal energy that necessitates aligning values to live by it, to synergize with it, rather than merely engaging in charitable acts or spreading goodwill based solely on emotions. It’s a principle with a structure of “Understanding, sharing, and creating solutions,” akin to a tree with roots, trunk, branches, and blossoms. If practiced correctly, compassion brings magnificence into life.

The woman, as a potential mother, is more devoted to compassion than the man. All this does not correspond to reality today, at least in the West. Is it still like this in Asia? 

The expression of innate emotions, affection, and goodwill are intimate manifestations closely associated with compassion everywhere on Earth. Maternal love is a beauty and a noble truth, a source of energy for the sustenance and evolution of humanity. However, compassion is not merely maternal; Compassion holds a broader value, reminding us of our mothers, Mother Earth, Mother Universe, and the spiritual energy we receive. Today, in both the East and the West, we have the opportunity to rediscover compassion by approaching it as a law, as a principle, to witness this energy source’s subtle operation and miraculous nature. Maternal love is like the moonlight, while compassion itself is like sunlight, natural and brimming with energy. Each of us is equal in our approach, learning, and practice to integrate the principle of compassion into our lives and collectively usher humanity into a new era of compassion.

Could most people be bored precisely because they have not fully understood and do not practice disinterested compassion? 

Indeed, the journey of compassion is, first and foremost, a journey of exploring our inner selves, profound and magnificent, like venturing into the Universe. We will find great happiness in discovering our noble essence, which lies in a beautiful place within our vast and expansive consciousness, the realm of precious gifts and gratitude everyone possesses. The structure of the principle of compassion is “Understanding, sharing, and creating solutions.” There are three parts to understanding: understanding oneself, understanding others, and understanding circumstances. “Sharing” includes giving and gratitude. “Creating solutions” involves using the brain and the belief system programmed in the brain. Therefore, if we practice the entire principle by understanding and practicing each stage of the process, they are all activities of the consciousness, incredibly captivating and fascinating. It is a practice and exploration of the depth of consciousness to connect with the power of the Universe, to witness the operation of the Universe way, so you will always be full of energy because of the correct practice of that principle.

In your opinion, is it a direct consequence that those who do good sooner or later receive it in another form? Or everything is left to the will of an arbitrary God, almost a dice player. 

The principle is that we should always do good, whether we believe in God’s providence. And to naturally do good, we must have an excellent inner self, a consciousness connected to the sacred and noble essence of the universal spirit. When we live with compassion, we have faith that the law of karma will work in our favor within the benevolence of compassion. The principle of “From Inside Out” helps us live better each day by investing in inner beauty and exploring the power of consciousness rather than waiting for the judgment of luck. I believe that each of us finds our savior within ourselves; our savior lies within the realm of our consciousness. Each individual’s journey of compassion is a journey of consciousness when they have the faith to embark on it!


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