Do not be affected by those who would mock you

In this country, there is a lot of frustration about the slow recovery of the economy. There were expectations that conditions that existed far longer than a year ago would be drastically improved by now. While the expectations were certainly great, we always knew that the road ahead would be a long one.

We are amidst a struggling economy, the blueprint for which was drawn more than eight years ago. While a new blueprint has been created, rebuilding from scratch and with the presence of those so determined to see it fail, it will take time. A quote by Harold Wilson reminds us that "he who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery."

Some are disheartened. Some are saying, "I told you so." Some remain hopeful. But to all I say, "Slowly, but surely we shall recover." There are unbelievers, and to them I speak not. But to you who know what it means to keep the faith in the midst of adversity and to drown out the enemy with a song in that inner most place of your being, I speak to you.

I am reminded of one song in particular in which one verse says:

"I just can't give up now

I've come too far from where I started from

Nobody told me the road would be easy

and I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me."

You cannot give up hope when the voice of the naysayer becomes loud. You know that you've come too far. In the face of opposition is where you have prayed your greatest prayer and where you have seen your greatest feats. You have always known that there would remain those who did not want to see you succeed. Some are your neighbors. Some are your colleagues. Some are your teammates. Some even call themselves your friend. They have gloated in your mistakes and misfortune. They have plotted against you. This is not new to you, and so, there exists no reason for you to be in fear. Continue your song:

"Never said there wouldn't be trials

Never said I wouldn't fall

Never said that everything would go the way I want it to go

But when my back is against the wall

And I feel all hope is gone,

I'll just lift my head up to the sky

And say help me to be strong."

I know that you're going through some tough times right now and that you want to see some things change. But you know that your change is going to come. See, you know what it means to have the faith that gives you the peace to wait. You know that even when you don't see what it is that you've been hoping and believing for when you wanted to, it always comes on time.

Today, do not get into arguments with people who speak negatively about the things that you believe in. It is not wise. You do not have to defend your faith in hope and change. Do not be moved by those who mock you. Stay encouraged.

"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream."

-- The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at ln_dunn@yahoo.com.