Personal Involvement vs. Secondhand Experience

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Personal Involvement vs. Secondhand Experience Experiencing a catastrophic event is always more traumatic and devastating than experiencing it secondhand. It is more emotionally strenuous and exhausting to live through something dramatic than it will ever be to hear about such an event secondhand. This is the case with the survivors of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, my family dealing with my mother battling cancer, as well as my teammate coping with the declining health of her father. I understand where the authors and people who experienced the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima firsthand come from when speaking of their perspective on the event, because I went through a devastating time when my family almost lost my mother to cancer. Years ago, my mother, who is a former professional tennis player, was diagnosed with two different types of cancer. She underwent seven surgeries and was once given only a five percent chance of living five years. She has recovered well and is healthy, but no one outside of our family could tell her story with nearly the meaning my family and I do, because they have not lived through the harrowing and emotional years that we experienced firsthand. Recently, my closest friend and a teammate of mine on the USF volleyball team has been dealing with a somewhat similar situation I went through, only with her father. He is in critical condition following a heart attack, stroke, and staph infection. Hearing about her father from her personally resonates deeper with me than if I were to hear it from another teammate or from a third party, especially since I can relate to how she’s feeling. My teammate confides in me while dealing with her father’s illness and has turned to me for support. The insight I gained from my personal experience with my mother helped me guide my teammate through her difficult time

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