By any standard, Paul Wong is a very rare individual in terms of both his life experiences and contributions to psychology.
As his wife, I have a unique vantage point. I have personally experienced all his noble qualities, e.g., generous, compassionate and courageous, and his foibles, e.g., intense, impatient, and blunt. I also learn first hand many things about him from his family members. For example, his parents considered him their best son, not only because he was a model child with excellent school records and always willing to help out with household chores. His sister-in-law (wife of his second older brother) called him a saint, because he washed her baby’s diapers as soon as he got off work. His upbringing has prepared him well for his adult life.
His life in Canada has been difficult and productive, as he has documented in his autobiography (www.drpaulwong.com) and his recent paper: The Unheard Cry of a Successful Asian Psychologist (Wong, 2020). In every step of his career development, he had to overcome unbelievable obstacles that could easily destroy someone without his indominable spirit. He was fully aware of the sources of his problems: internally, his original ideas clash with the dominant view in the West, and his outspokenness offended many people unwittingly; externally, discrimination based on race, religion and his unorthodox approach to psychology – integrative, holistic and considering suffering as the foundation for wellbeing.
Swimming against the tide, as I have witnessed how he took all his rejections and problems as challenges to grow better and stronger. Therefore, his development of the science of flourishing through suffering is based on his personal experience as much as on his research.
This book consists of two parts: Part 1 includes several articles from colleagues and friends who are familiar with his contributions to psychology. Part 2 consists of tributes in different stages of his life.
I strongly believe that this book needs to be published not only to honour his numerous contributions to psychology and humanity, but also to honour his life of sacrifice and self-transcendence. More importantly, we hope that this book can inspire more people to follow the narrow path of striving to make this world a better place for our children and the generations to come.
Wong, P. T. P. (2020, September 24). The Unheard Cry of a Successful Asian Psychologist. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223980.2020.1820430
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