Lessons from My Conversation with Debbie Davis of One Voice, Inc.
By: Jeremy Turner, MBA
Founder and Managing Director: EPIC Mission
I’ve had a week or so to marinate on my recent conversation with Debbie Davis of One Voice as she appeared as my first guest on the inaugural episode of the Heroes of Change Podcast from EPIC Mission. I cherish every conversation with Debbie because of her honesty, transparency, enthusiasm and bold
faith. Though there are many lessons that can be gleaned from Debbie and her journey, one thing really resonates with me and I want to highlight it here.
We live in an increasingly busy time in human history. Constant marketplace innovations speed up daily tasks beyond what could have been imagined a generation ago. Each succeeding generation seeks to attain goals faster and faster and we have the depth of the world’s collective wisdom at our fingertips with our smart devices. We are smarter, more efficient and better positioned to change the world for the better than all who came before us. Or so we think.
When asked who inspired Debbie as she was growing up, she didn’t hesitate to say that it was her father. He was described by Debbie as a gentle giant who barely spoke, but his words carried great weight when spoken. Debbie talks about the seed that he planted in her to go on to college and then become a classroom teacher, both of which laid the groundwork for her initial vision and ongoing success with One Voice. She places great value of education and spent a career pouring into the lives of young people as she sought to mold them and prepare them for the future. Her time in the school system exposed her to an at-risk population and their daily struggles. Because of her heart to serve and her openness to allow her faith to guide her actions, One Voice was born as a community resource to improve the quality of life for many who had been ignored, overlooked and forgotten by society at large.
Had Debbie not listened to the word her father spoke and then taken action to follow the guidance her father shared, there would be no One Voice and a huge void might still exist in the communities this wonderful organization serves.
The point I want to emphasize here is that we get so busy moving on to the next big thing that I’m afraid we miss many of the most important things right in front of our faces. Many of those things are people, situations and experiences that deserve our attention and further consideration and reflection. Familiarity breeds contempt, and too often we shrug off the sage wisdom of those nearby for the more glamorous words of a faraway prophet with whom we have no relationship at all and who likely has no particular interest in our dreams and may not know we even exist. Yes, we can learn something from everyone else whether we ever meet them and develop a meaningful relationship or not. However, why not begin to place greater value upon those nearby resources that are invested in our personal and professional well-being? Why not take time to be present in the moment before you and experience the joys of this life? Why not take a moment and reflect upon the situations we have experienced thus far to consider what lessons we might glean towards creating a brighter future? If you don’t slow down occasionally and take time to smell the roses, you may just zoom right past the best thing on your way to the next thing. Maybe being the tortoise and not the hare isn’t such a bad thing after all, right?