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Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen, a 15 year-old Singaporean schoolgirl won the top prize in the annual Commonwealth Essay Competition which drew 5300 entries from 52 countries. Her short story entitled, “WHAT THE MODERN WOMAN WANTS” focused on the conflict in values between an old lady and her independent minded daughter. Chief examiner Charles Kemp called her piece a “powerfully moving and ironical critique of modern restlessness and its potentially cruel consequences

The story strikes a cord within me as I struggle to take care of my aging 78 mom who has often times driven me up the wall. But I remind myself constantly that life goes in full circle. One day, in the near future, I will be in her shoes …. old, weak and feeble and I would want to be cherished, loved and treated kindly and gently.

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    This essay is worth a read.

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