April 14, 2024 08:36
Ha Huy Thanh, with this book, has uncovered a dramatic and general problem that concerns us all closely: where does profit begin, the sense of life is forgotten? Where does love begin, if it is disconnected from the transcendent power of the spirit? Where do Nations begin, without the deepest and fraternal sense of communion and universal brotherhood among peoples?
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I have traversed my career, perhaps taking a thousand flights, crossing lands to discover new worlds, distant continents, and new ways of thinking; theories, customs, ways of living, distant customs. But slowly, with this life of a traveler, I have gained new awareness, new reflections, and new inclinations towards existence. Gradually, my convictions have been infused with new experiences, new puzzles, but also with new visions: thus, all that heritage of provincialism and conventions rooted in my personal education has dissolved and opened up to the sea of others. This is what I was thinking when I was offered this book; when I met Thanh, during my last trip to Vietnam.

I had already been struck by Vietnam, Thanh, during my stay in Ho Chi Minh City; I immediately felt Vietnam as an extraordinary nation, an exceptional people, incredibly rich in smiles and wisdom, understanding, and kindness. A people who seemed to infect you just by walking the streets, with a new special tangible energy: I listened to this positive energy but I didn't know what it was, where it came from. I had long taken the habit of freeing myself from commonplaces; trying not to consider the limits of a country, or even the customs of a people, but rather trying to consider instead the emotion of the spirit; especially when looking into the eyes of another unknown individual, seeing him as a brother in the innermost, with the same hopes and dreams, even without a notion of language or culture. Then one frees oneself from every prejudice, and becomes only friendly individuals, and citizens of the world seeking a symbiosis of the deep, through an existential experience. In other words: I had learned to open my heart to the world, entering the universe of “Compassion”.

Consequently, after reading this book by Thanh, I had the written confirmation of a thought that I could only intuit, suspect, or yearn for. I entered this book and was infected by every word, which melted in my mouth with its universal language, and almost in the premonition of being spoken or written; and almost as if I were myself thinking and uttering it an instant before it was written. I was infected by every concept, which fused within me. I was gently struck by every sentence or quotation, which arrived as sudden gifts of the spirit on the page, but above all entered into the depths, into the heart of my personal moral experience. I had truly

been infected by the statuesque image of the word "Compassion." I had discovered the deepest and most empathetic authentic meaning of the word compassion, which contained in its kind of meaning, perhaps still unknown to the Italian reader, far too infected, and perhaps worn out, by the classic European concept of the word "Compassion."

Just as Thanh writes: "It's better not to look for its meaning on Google or Wikipedia, it hasn't been concretely interpreted yet." And it's true: compassion for us Italians is not disconnected from a certain Christian or philosophical piety, but for Thanh, it is a more universal discipline that does not want to be confused only with pity. Rather, it is about the practice of a concrete discipline, to be performed every day of life; to dedicate oneself to others with the natural concreteness of Eastern discipline, and with the wisdom gained from reality itself. The compassion narrated by Thanh, with his charismatic, simple, and universal language at the same time, seems to give us, right from the start, the recipe for global happiness. And I am pleased that it was not a philosopher who wrote this: but rather a successful entrepreneur, a noble-minded, practical, and visionary man; a man who desires the greatness of his country and his life, his friends, and his family. Because as the Greeks say: poetry is action. Thanh, with this book, has uncovered a dramatic and general problem that concerns us all closely: where does profit begin, the sense of life is forgotten? Where does love begin, if it is disconnected from the transcendent power of the spirit? Where do Nations begin, without the deepest and fraternal sense of communion and universal brotherhood among peoples? And where does brotherhood begin, without that sense of mutual, existential understanding? Without that feeling of mutual and absolute "compassion," a feeling that belongs to the entirety of every individual? Traveling has educated me to pay attention to others: and without compassion, there can be no future or understanding for any individual. As Thanh expresses in the beautiful fifth chapter dedicated to sharing: "The true superpower is empathy, the source of air for the sky of compassion." Compassion is therefore the intense volitional force of thought: in "compassion," or suffering together, lies the recipe for every individual and collective vitality. But simply, "com-passion," means discovering the most source of every figurative formation of thought, to arrive at the awareness of mutual understanding. Because compassion is understanding.

We present this book to Italy, new and unknown from the Italian reader's point of view, which I live as a gift. We wish everyone to be infected by the deepest and most universal meaning of the word compassion; indeed, to become exegetes, coaches, advocates of every form of universal and mutual compassion! May everyone feel passion for compassion! Cheer everyone with empathy, for compassion in every form! Just as Thanh observes: "Because sharing is an active value, because only by sharing can we realize our potential, know our strengths and weaknesses." Many ancient and modern Italian authors would have greeted this book as a blessing. One for all, Silvio Pellico, who in his masterpiece of 1832, "Le mie prigioni" (My Prisons), effectively expresses this feeling of sweetness but above all of authentic, true compassion. A strong compassion even for his jailers and cellmates, a robust compassion even for the adverse times of his life. Silvio even thanks the enemy; he was held prisoner in Spielberg prison for ten years, but always seeking the deepest compassion in every action, even in extreme conditions. "Le mie prigioni" was judged by Minister Metternich who said to the Emperor the following sentence: "Majesty, this book is the greatest battle we have lost," because all Austrians saw, in the absence of any hatred towards the enemy, the deepest sign of compassion. I wish Thanh this happy fate: that this book be the battleship of compassion that will change the face of every reader!

Source: Mario Ferrari

Writer To Hoai is famous for his book De Men Adventure Ky (1941) written for children. Currently, "Crickets" have traveled all over the world. The story has been translated into many languages and published in many countries around the world. He is likened to the Andersen of Vietnam.


At first glance, she doesn't stand out when standing next to her Asian girls, I become more and more in the middle European women. Yet, people like look at you, especially like to peek, every time you say, or every time she laughs. Asian-style face Dong, round black eyes that can talk, the corner of his mouth when also fresh. Long, silky black hair, clear voice, Standard and flexible pronunciation even when I speak the language German and Vietnamese.