Across different worlds, we were often mistaken for one another in social media. It came finally time to meet. I approached the meeting without any expectations. It is strange to meet myself, yet he is not quite me. I wonder what he would be like; his hobbies, career, family and his values and worldviews. His numerous publications have already provided perspectives of his thoughts on different topics.
We met. We look so different, like the twins we are not. We were both enthusiastic. The meeting was simply ecstatic. It started as a lunch and lasted for nearly 6 hours. We discovered that we had much in common; a career in academia and interests in management and business strategy. He is a few years older than me. We are both family men with teenager children, and have lost our loved ones to cancer.
Dr Michael Heng, a retired Professor like myself, spends most of his working life doing teaching and research at universities. He obtained his PhD in management from the Free University of Amsterdam, and has held academic positions in the Free University of Amsterdam, the University of South Australia, and six other universities in Asia including the National University of Singapore and Fudan University. He has published five books, among which are Global Financial Crisis and Challenges for China and Supply Chain Management: Issues in the New Era of Collaboration and Competition.
Our overlapping teaching and research interests are in business strategy, electronic business, supply chain, globalisation, Asian modernisation and Nation Building. He was a former Adjunct Professor at IKMAS (Institute of Malaysian and International Studies) for 2 years and a Visiting Professor at Chiang Mai University, Thailand. His publications have appeared in Information and Organization, Information Systems Journal, Information & Management, and numerous other publications.
Growing up separately;
He in Malaysia with me in neighbouring Singapore,
We are peas in different pods
By different parents;
Yet have much in common.
Our doctorates are in Management;
Our academic careers as Professors,
Loves writing and research
With publications in various interests;
Many in common like economics, business strategy and politics;
Our writings reflect our active participation in the world
As observers, researchers, mentors and teachers,
In pursuit of truth all our life,
Speaking truth to the world,
Adding bricks of knowledge
To create an more enlightened world
For a better future society for our children, theirs,
One and all.
As the meeting proceeds,
Sharing so much energy,
We became more like
Peas in the same pod
As birds of different feather,
Sharing the laughter,
Sharing our lives,
Like long-lost twins
We are not.
As the day drew close,
I gaze toward the cosmos above,
Thankful for the moment of serendipity
And grateful for the synchronicity
Of this unforgettable day when I met myself;
A different version of me.