Beautiful memories of Kwok Leung
by Anne S. Tsui
There is no right word to describe the depth of sadness over the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Kwok Leung. We can ask all the whys (why him, why so young, why no cure, why now), but it does not change the profoundly tragic reality of his departure from this world. Life is a journey full of mysteries. Why were we born; why do we continue to live while others do not; why is life is so tragically short for some who have done so much good, while others who contribute much less enjoy a long life? A moment like this brings up all the questions about meaning, impact, family, friendship, and the ultimate purpose of living and life.
I have known Kwok since the late 1990’s when I was working at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Kwok was at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Our collaboration was particularly strong in the past ten years with our joint involvement in MOR. He served on the Editorial Review Board from the start in 2005 and immediately as a senior editor from the 2nd year, and participated in all the major discussions regarding the development and strategies of MOR. He was generous in sharing his experience as the second Editor during the founding years of the Asian Journal of Social Psychology. He is a modest man, happy to stay out of the limelight but also happy to speak up in his gentle but deliberate manner. He is a great scholar with a beautiful mind and a deeply caring heart.
Kwok liked to travel not just for personal pleasure but more importantly to bring joy to others. He visited me in Phoenix on March 11, 2009, because he knew that I needed help with some important issues involving MOR. We spent an afternoon in the Desert Botanical Garden followed by a Mexican dinner under the warm Arizona sky. We discussed MOR’s challenges, its future, and desired impact. He always gave wise advice in his distinctively calm and unhurried manner. He was over-committed as most of us are, but he did not hesitate to offer his unwavering support to MOR. It was a warm day with the beautiful sunshine and perfect temperature. I think he enjoyed the stroll among the many variety of cacti decorated by the enchanting Chihuly glassworks.
It is a mysterious coincidence that John F. Nash, Jr., the Nobel Laureate in Mathematics, and the subject of the movie “A beautiful mind” also left the world unexpectedly two days before Kwok. But Kwok is much too young to leave us. Like Nash, Kwok’s impact on cross-cultural research will last forever.
We grieve the loss of a great friend and a wonderful human being. But Kwok is now in a beautiful place where there is no suffering, only eternal joy. He would be happy to know that we are replacing our sadness with beautiful memories of his gigantic contributions to scholarship, to educating the next generation of scholars, to IACMR/MOR/China, and to his family and friends. It will please him to know that his legacy will live on through his family, students and friends.
Anne S. Tsui
May 27, 2015
Notre Dame, Indiana
Kwok in the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona
March 11, 2009