Brother Steve Davis, the alumni director at BYU-Idaho, referenced the book, “I am Third” by professional football player Gale Sayers in both his devotional address at BYU-Idaho and in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.
Davis used this book to highlight how to find happiness in joy when struggling with sadness or depression. The book “I am Third” was written by a professional football player after a crippling knee injury almost ended his career. Davis loved this story and thought it was a prime example for those of us who are struggling.
“The best way to get to joy is don’t try to make yourself happy, but go out and make sure you serve god, and the only way to serve god is you have to serve others,” Davis said.
The acronym J.O.Y. was used to break down the order of how we should prioritize who we think of first. J standing for Jesus, O stands for others, and Y stands for you.
Davis shared the story of Brian Piccolo and Darryl Hill in his interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.
“When Darryl came on the field, the Wake Forest student section started taunting him and jeering at him,” he said. “And I am sure full of racial stuff. You have to picture this. Brian Piccolo, white, captain of Wake Forest, walks all the way across the field to the opposing team’s side, puts his arm around Darryl Hill and apologizes for his fan’s behavior. Then he walks him to center of the field and faces the Wake Forest student section with his arm around him and he doesn’t say anything but that he was there with Darryl and silences the crowd.”
Davis emphasized the fact that he wanted to focus on people who capture the phrase, “I am third.” He showed a video to the campus of a family who lost five daughters within a year. Instead of focusing on their loss, they started a foundation and wanted to help others. They found healing by serving other people to help them find relief from their own pain.
On the discussion board for BYU-Idaho students, Davis asked what their number one thing is to help them get over feelings of depression and anxiety. A majority of the focus was on ourselves. Students said they cope by doing things like sleeping, eating, and working out.
“The easiest thing is this, I can be on a movie in two seconds,” he said in his interview with BYU-Idaho Radio. “I could get lost in thought. Lost in distraction. It’s a great reminder for me. I need to remember that if I am discouraged, what’s the best thing I can do? I can say a prayer acknowledge my Heavenly Father and I can go serve the people who are the most important in my life.”