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It is undying and sincere, without petty terms or conditions - by I.M.

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Unconditional Love

'N' Level student-inmate from Tanah Merah Prison

Consolation Prize

Some may say that love is over-rated and I should agree because the word ‘love’ has been spoken so frequently and used too freely that it has lost its true value; Love, with all its beauty and splendour, is quite often fraught with hidden emotional costs and shackled by selfish conditions unlike unconditional love does nothing to liberate the heart. So, what exactly is this love that has been bandied around as “unconditional love”?

Unconditional love is having strong feelings of caring and affection for a person without having any expectations that the feelings or affection would be reciprocated or even acknowledged. Having too caught up in my rock star and philandering lifestyle, I became self-centred and blind to everything else around me. Materialistic and narcissistic, I was only capable of loving no one but myself. Forgotten were the promises that I had made in times when I was lucid, I had forsaken my mother physically and emotionally, I had lead a life seemingly aimless and without ambition, backing in the false adoration of friends and enjoying the companionship of my various female friends. Slowly deteriorating and doubtless losing more of myself in this debauchery.

Although I had forgotten about her, my mother continued to look after my needs at home. Every day, she would patiently wait at home - praying that I would be safe to return home, while I was out partying with not a single thought spared for her. She cooked and prepared my meals without complaints, at times attending to me when I was too intoxicated to even recall that I had gone home. Only now, after much contemplation, would I realise that she did all that for me because of her great love for me, her son. This was despite that there were never any guarantee from me that her sacrifices and affection would be reciprocated or even acknowledged.


It is a love that accepts all the flaws and acknowledges the goodness in that person and senselessly, devoting time and resources upon that person. Always believing that underneath all the shortcomings and failure, there is without doubt goodness and potential waiting to break out. Like an unpolished rock, it takes a millennium for it to turn into a flawless diamond. My mother believed that a rock should be allowed to transform into that beautiful gem on its own time, loving me without petty terms of stacking conditions.

Time and time again, I kept breaking my mother’s heart by going back on my words but each time she is ready to forgive. I am full of remorse and deeply humbled by her love for me. Never a moment of doubt in her that I would one day shine bright like a diamond. Always there for me, even though she did not give me her blessings when I was astray, I realised she has always given me good and sound advice - always waiting that I will one day come to my senses and pour my capabilities on more positive endeavors.

Unconditional love is ultimately love that could inspire and always has a strong belief that the person we love would shine through and under all the past negativity and bitter disappointments, there is still a lot of goodness and potential in that person. Serving another long term sentence has made me realise how truly lucky I am - that my mother has never given up hope on me and one this realisation that I was spurred into getting my life back on track.

Friends and girlfriends may come and go but the only constant in my life is my mother.

Being here has opened me up to many possibilities and my first tribute to her undying love would be to honour her with the best results that I could achieve. With that, I am hopeful that soon doors would be open to me and help me achieve better things in life. With a career and stable life, I could better take care of my mother and aging father and look after their needs in their golden years. With her love, I am inspired to change and be the son I am supposed to be.

After all that has been said and done, nowhere in the world could we find unconditional love other than in our mothers and fathers. Maternal and paternal love are epitomes of unconditional love unsurpassed. It is undying and sincere, without petty terms or conditions. It is without doubt the most liberating love one could absolutely have when one discovers unconditional love. For all that she had given to me, it is about time that I give my unconditional love and filial devotion to her. Start making her happy and promise to never break her heart again.


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