Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, European 3-Day Retreat, Paris, France,
August 22, 2007 (Originally in English)
Suppose you have compassion in your heart, but you have never seen any situation where you need to show your compassion. It doesn’t touch you, because you don’t see anything that is suffering. So, how can you have compassion? Therefore, even God, Buddha or the son of God has to come down here in order to see. In Heaven, there is no requirement for anything like that. Everything is blissful and happy and peaceful. So if you want to develop compassion, it’s only in this world, in the physical world, or in hell perhaps, if you can survive it there, just like a lawyer goes into the prison without being affected by it.
Anyhow, suppose that guy or that girl has been in the past some animal, maybe a low NQ animal, like those predators or animals of prey, where they have to kill to survive. Those have lower NQ than other animals. The very peaceful animals, like elephants for example, have 30 percent NQ! So, to develop NQ, you just take what you have, the “capital gain,” the capital that you had before you were born. It will be with you at the time of birth, and it will continue to be with you. But unless you use it to maximize or to multiply, then it won’t grow any further than 3 percent or 4 percent, or whatever percent you had on the day you were born.
The majority of people have only 3, 4 or 5 percent NQ. Why? Because that’s what they had when they were born. They were born with that, and then they don’t have a chance to develop it. They could develop. The more you are exposed to the sense of the needy’s suffering, the more you feel your compassion being touched. And then you want to do something for that person or that animal or that situation, and then that’s how your NQ grows, like the interest rate in the bank. You can have the capital and just put it in the bank, doing nothing, or you can invest it. You can do business with it, and then it will grow.
So, HQ and NQ can be developed. The quality is inborn, but then it can be developed, and like everything else, the more you use it, the more you have it. It’s funny! It’s not like the more you use it, the more you don’t have anymore. It’s not like that. It’s not like money, where the more you give, the more you don’t have. But these are not material things. These things, the more you use, the more you have. Saints are developed from ordinary people. So, it’s like that. It’s not like everyone was born with 300 percent NQ.
Many of you have only 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 percent... or 15, 20 or 30 percent. That’s very good already. But you are expanding it; that’s the difference. Because you are exposed to the teaching, it’s like nourishment for the NQ. If you are exposed to some other different situations, your NQ might even be less, or it might just stand still. If you are exposed to noble teachings and you know how and you go about doing it, then it really becomes real. Maybe at first you don’t feel so much, but it will become real. Because if you’re touched by the sense of suffering, then you really want to do something, and your love really awakens in your heart. That is when NQ begins to germinate and grow more and more.
But meanwhile, at least you do something. Even if you don’t feel so touched, suppose you exchange the position, like if you were that suffering person, what would you like to have? Then it’s very clear to you. If a person’s in an earthquake and they’re injured, of course they need medicine. Or, if their house is lost, of course they want a tent at least. They want water and clothes, because they’ve lost everything. Just exchange your position; then you know exactly what to do and how you would feel. Even if you don’t feel exactly like the person who is affected, you begin to be more identified with each other. You’ll be one with each other, and then you will feel more and more what other people feel. But God will put in a break somewhere, so that you don’t suffer too much. Otherwise, if you suffer like everyone else, overwhelmingly, then you cannot bear it from the inside feeling.
If the person is just in a position from birth or from inheritance, or from tradition, then that doesn’t develop their Noble Quality or compassion. Compassion and Noble Quality have to be in real life, real action and real exposure to suffering. Not by yourself perhaps, but if you see someone else suffer, then something will be awakened in you: the love that is pure and unconditional, a true love. Then your NQ will develop. Even if you’re not doing anything much or you cannot do anything for that suffering person, just your sympathy, your desire to do something to lessen the suffering of that person in front of you, that is already good potential nutrition for your NQ. So, do not feel afraid of suffering, and do not feel afraid to help other people, because it’s only good for you.