Leaders urged to have vision

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, February 7, 2017

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

James Davis, a bishop of the AME Church, used this Helen Keller quote to emphasize his point at Saturday’s finale to the annual Troy University Leadership Conference to Celebrate African American History.

Davis wrapped up the two-day conference in front of hundreds of attendees with the message of having vision in challenging times.

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We’re living in challenging times,” Davis said. “You can turn on the TV and the news media is announcing and pronouncing the problems. But I’m here to talk about solutions, not problems.”

The key to overcoming problems, Davis said, is by having vision.

“We’ve become a people with no vision,” Davis said.

Davis then told a story about a motivational speaker who was paid $30,0000 to speak to corporation employees. Each speech, Davis said, this speaker would do the same thing: draw one whit dot on a seven-foot blackboard. He would then go around the room and ask the employees “What do you see?” Every time, they would respond “I see a white dot.”

“Therein lies the problem,” Davis said. “There are persons who can only see the white dot and cannot see the seven-foot blackboard around it where solutions can be made. Some people only see the problem.”

Davis told the crowd that there are four kinds of people: ones without vision, ones who have lost their vision, ones who have limited vision and those who have 20/20 vision.

“Those who have no vision are negative pessimists,” Davis said. “They call themselves realists, but they are not realists because we know God goes beyond the natural.”

Davis used an example of a man whose mule fell into a well, and having no way to get the animal out, decided to bury it alive. But as the man shoveled dirt into the well, the mule shook off the dirt and was eventually standing at the top of the well.

Davis said that people too must shake off whatever comes their way and use it to go higher.

Davis finished up his speech by telling the attendees that it is the people with 20/20 vision that make the progress.

“People with 20/20 vision work while others are resting,” Davis said. “Their vision propels them into action.”

The finale of the conference also included singing by Sheila Jackson and company and several distinguished guests speaking to the crowd.

Davis and comedian Ricky Smiley were the two main speakers at the conference.