There's little debate over the fact that First Lady Michelle Obama is an inspiration. In the eight years her husband has served as president, the first lady has given more than a few stirring speeches. Her words have uplifted the spirits of even the most downtrodden, which makes them perfect for anyone needing a little help coming to terms with a Donald Trump presidency. These inspiring Michelle Obama quotes are exactly what you need to get through four years of Trumpisms.
First Lady Michelle Obama's speeches have been honest and heartfelt, inspiring, and impactful. Throughout her husband's time in office, Michelle Obama's dignity, conviction, and eloquence have endeared her to many Americans on both sides of the aisle. In the 2016 election, she rose from among the insults and pettiness to serve as American's moral compass.
Perhaps no one has said it better than President Obama did at the Commander-in-Chief Ball in 2013. "Some may dispute the quality of our president, but nobody disputes the quality of our first lady," Obama said while introducing his wife.
To help you get through Trump's upcoming presidency, here are nine quotes from First Lady Michelle Obama. Reference them as often as needed for a good dose of hope, courage, and inspiration.
On Where True Leadership Comes From
In a keynote address at the Young African Women Leaders Forum on June 22, 2011, FLOTUS spoke in depth about true leadership and the ability for anyone of any age and status to ignite positive change in their community.
"I know that true leadership — leadership that lifts families, leadership that sustains communities and transforms nations — that kind of leadership rarely starts in palaces or parliaments," Michelle Obama said. "That kind of leadership is not limited only to those of a certain age or status. And that kind of leadership is not just about dramatic events that change the course of history in an instant. Instead, true leadership often happens with the smallest acts, in the most unexpected places, by the most unlikely individuals."
On Not Allowing Negative Attacks To Distract You
In an interview with Marie Claire in October 2008, Michelle Obama shared how she guards herself against media attacks. It's good advice considering Trump's penchant for stirring up trouble on Twitter at just the right moment.
"One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals," FLOTUS said. "And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am."
On Coming Together With Those Who Are Different
While addressing the graduating class of Eastern Kentucky University in a commencement speech on May 11, 2013, the first lady stressed the importance of building bridges between us and those with different perspectives and ideas.
"You're going to come across all kinds of people from all different places and faiths and walks of life," Michelle Obama said. "And you can choose to pass them by without a word, or you can choose to reach out to them, no matter who they are or where they come from or what ideas they might have... When we only talk to people who think like we do — we just get more stuck in our ways, more divided, and it gets harder to come together for a common purpose."
On Women And Girls
Michelle Obama has always been a champion of women and girls, so it's no surprise she thinks females are capable of accomplishing anything. "Like I tell my daughters, women and girls can do whatever they want," FLOTUS said in a Twitter Q&A video posted to YouTube on May 31, 2012. "There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish."
On The Difference One Individual Can Make
While Michelle Obama was speaking to young women in South Africa, her comments on having the courage and hope to fight for the change you want to see in the world may also resonate with anyone feeling a bit apprehensive about how Trump's incoming administration will tackle issues like immigration, abortion, climate change, and LGBTQ rights.
"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own," FLOTUS said during a keynote address at the Young African Women Leaders Forum in June 2011.
On Breaking Free From Fear
Before President Barack Obama would win the 2008 presidential election, our then-future FLOTUS dropped a truth bomb about allowing fear to control you. "I am tired of living in a country where every decision that we have made over the last 10 years wasn't for something, but it was because people told us we had to fear something," Michelle Obama said while introducing her husband at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 16, 2007. "We had to fear people who looked different from us; fear people who believed in things that were different from us; fear of one another right here in our own back yards — I am so tired of fear and I don't want my girls to live in a country, in a world, based on fear."
On Why We Must Fight For Women's Rights
When, a few years from now, you find yourself wondering why you're still signing petitions, donating to the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, or showing up to peaceful protests toward, remember Michelle Obama's comments on why protecting and advancing women's rights is so vital. "No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens," she said while speaking at the Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders on July 30, 2014.
On The Chance America Will Elect A Woman President
The first lady was one of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's most eloquent and inspiring supporters during the presidential election. Although Clinton lost the Electoral College to Trump, there's little doubt in my mind that Michelle Obama hasn't given up her belief we'll one day be saying, "madam president."
"As long as we stay engaged and we keep empowering women, I have no doubt that we will see a woman in the Oval Office very soon," FLOTUS said in a 2012 Q&A video.
On What Makes America Great
While Trump ran his presidential campaign on the promise to "make America great again," Michelle Obama has long known what makes our country great. "That's what's always made this country great — embracing the diversity of experience and opinion that surrounds us everywhere we go," she told students at Eastern Kentucky University's commencement ceremony in May 2013.