Michelle Obama sends message to fearful Americans: 'All we have is hope'

Michelle Obama addressed Americans feeling fearful in the current political climate on Thursday, telling them to "show empathy" toward each other.

The former first lady's statements came during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that aired on Thursday. DeGeneres said she herself has felt frightened in the past year, prompting Obama to respond.

"People are afraid but then there are people who feel good about the direction of the country, so I mean, that's what makes this country complicated because it's made up of so many different people from different backgrounds," she said. "I mean, we are this mosh pit of society and sometimes there's a rub."

"We show empathy, we care for each other, you know, we do have a lot in common. That's what it means to lead with hope and not fear," Obama continued. "And that's all we have, is hope."

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ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama smiles during a conversation at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with youth leaders at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago to discuss strategies for community organization and civic engagement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
MUMBAI, INDIA - NOVEMBER 7, 2010: US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle wave as they board Air Force One to depart for New Delhi from Chattrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai on Sunday. President Barack Obama left the Indian city of Mumbai for New Delhi. (Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Malia Ann Obama seen out in Manhattan on April 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Malia Ann Obama is seen in Tribeca on March 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama, poses backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Former U.S. President Barack Obama sits on a boat during a kite surfing outing with British businessman Richard Branson during his holiday on Branson's Moskito island, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
THIS IMAGE IS BINNED Former U.S. President Barack Obama tries his hand at kite surfing during a holiday with British businessman Richard Branson on his island Moskito, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and British businessman Richard Branson sit on a boat during Obama's holiday on Branson's Moskito island, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Malia Obama is seen arriving at The Weinstein Company on February 8, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
UNSPCIFIED, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - FEBRUARY 1: In this undated image Former President Barack Obama takes a break from learning to kitesurf at Richard Branson's Necker Island retreat on February 1, 2017 in the British Virgin Islands. Former President Obama and his wife Michelle have been on an extended vacation since leaving office on January 20. (Photo by Jack Brockway/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama is seen walking in Soho on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama is seen walking in Soho on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Director Terry Kinney and The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama chat backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Malia Obama, The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama, Danny DeVito, Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Hecht and Tony Shalhoub pose backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Ann Obama is seen out in Manhattan with friend on February 24, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Ann Obama is seen out in Manhattan with friend on February 24, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama seen out in Manhattan on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Michelle Obama leaves Upland restaurant on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Barack Obama leaves Upland restaurant on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama (L), and Robert A. Ivy, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects greet the audience during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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The wife of former President Barack Obama also encouraged viewers to tune out the beltway rhetoric and instead focus on kindness and compassion.

"The thing I learned in the eight years that I was in the White House is that what we do every day in our lives, the good things that we do every day — and we know we do it: we show empathy, we care for each other, you know, we do have a lot in common," Obama said. "That’s what it means to lead with hope and not fear."

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"I would just encourage your viewers, the country, to do the things we do every day: to love each other, to take care of each other, to show empathy — and you can’t do that only when people make you feel good or safe. We’ve got to do it all across the board."

The Obamas have maintained a relatively steady public profile in their first year out of the White House, and Michelle Obama has at times been more vocal than her husband in commenting on the historic 2016 election results.

In September 207, the former first lady said women who voted against Hillary Clinton "voted against their own voice."

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: (L-R) Michelle Obama and Hota Kotb Celebrate International Day of the Girl on NBC's 'TODAY' at Rockefeller Plaza on October 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: (L-R) Karlie Kloss, Zendaya, Kelly Clarkson, Freida Pinto,and Michelle Obama ainor take a selfie while they Celebrate International Day of the Girl on NBC's 'TODAY' at Rockefeller Plaza on October 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Michelle Obama Celebrates International Day of the Girl on NBC's 'TODAY' at Rockefeller Plaza on October 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic)
CORAL GABLES, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during a 'When We All Vote Rally' in Miami at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami on September 28, 2018 in Carol Gables, Florida. (Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic)
CORAL GABLES, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Former United States of America First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during a 'When We All Vote Rally' in Miami at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami on September 28, 2018 in Carol Gables, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/FilmMagic)
CORAL GABLES, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Former United States of America First Lady Michelle Obama is seen participating in the 'When We All Vote Rally' at Watsco Center at the University of Miami on September 28, 2018 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 23: Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks during a rally for When We All Vote's National Week of Action at Chaparral High School on September 23, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Obama is the founder and a co-chairwoman of the organization that aims to help people register and to vote. Early voting for the 2018 midterm elections in Nevada begins on October 20. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 1: (L-R) Former U.S. President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and former U.S. President George W. Bush arrive for the funeral service for U.S. Sen. John McCain at the National Cathedral on September 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. The late senator died August 25 at the age of 81 after a long battle with brain cancer. McCain will be buried at his final resting place at the U.S. Naval Academy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 22: Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks during the Opening General Session of the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on June 22, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 21: Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks during the Opening General Session of the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on June 21, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: Former First Lady Michelle Obama talks to the audience at the Reach Higher Initiative Beating the Odds Summit to support first-generation college-bound students on June 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05: Former First Lady of The United States Michelle Obama at The United State of Women Summit 2018 - Day 1 on May 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05: Former First Lady of The United States Michelle Obama (L) and actress Tracee Ellis Ross have a conversation on stage at The United State of Women Summit 2018 - Day 1 on May 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Former US first lady Michelle Obama (L) and actress/activist Tracee Ellis Ross attend the United State of Women Summit at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, on May 5, 2018. (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Michelle Obama is joined by students, stars, performing artists and athletes for the fifth annual College Signing Day, hosted by Reach Higher, at Temple Universitys Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia, on May 2, 2018. The Former First Lady is joined by 7.000 students and (on stage) stars, performing artists and athletes including Bradley Cooper, Rebel Wilson, Zendaya, Robert De Niro, Camila Cabello, Questlove, Anthony Mackie and Janelle Monae. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: Michelle Obama attends MUSE New York 2018 at One World Observatory on February 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images for Klick Inc.)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Former First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama are seen after their portraits were unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery on Monday February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The former President's portrait was painted by Kehinde Wiley while the former First Lady's portrait was painted by Amy Sherald. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama participates in the unveiling of her official portrait during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, on February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The portraits were commissioned by the Gallery, for Kehinde Wiley to create President Obama's portrait, and Amy Sherald that of Michelle Obama. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Former US First Lady Michelle Obama stands before her portrait by artist Amy Sherald after an unveiling at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
(Center L-R): Kristen Perry of Chicago, Ill., former First Lady Of the U.S. Michelle Obama, and other school counselors, pose for a photo after the 2018 School Counselor of the Year awards ceremony, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. (Photo by Cheriss May) (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Former First Lady Of the U.S. Michelle Obama presented the 2018 School Counselor of the Year award to Kristen Perry of Chicago, Ill., at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. (Photo by Cheriss May) (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 02: Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States, honors the 2018 School Counselor of Year at a special celebration at The Kennedy Center on February 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks with poet Elizabeth Alexander at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former First Lady Michelle Obama (L) holds hands with poet Elizabeth Alexander at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former First Lady Michelle Obama laughs during the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, October 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 31: Former first Lady Michelle and former president Barack Obama are introduced at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit on October 31, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The two-day event will feature a mix of community leaders politicians and artists exploring creative solutions to common problems, and experiencing art, technology, and music from around the world. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, October 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Michelle Obama speaks onstage The Streicker Center hosts a Special Evening with Former First Lady Michelle Obama at The Streicker Center on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Michelle Obama (L) and David Letterman speak onstage as The Streicker Center hosts a Special Evening with Former First Lady Michelle Obama at The Streicker Center on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Michelle Obama (L) and David Letterman speak onstage as The Streicker Center hosts a Special Evening with Former First Lady Michelle Obama at The Streicker Center on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 03: Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama watches the surprise video message from her husband Former President of the United States Barack Obama during Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2017 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 03: Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and Screenwriter, director and producer Shonda Rhimes speak on stage during Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2017 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
DENVER, CO - JULY 25: Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaks, emphasizing that women must celebrate their strength, during a live conversation with The Women's Foundation of Colorado President and CEO Lauren Y. Casteel at Pepsi Center on July 25, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The Women's Foundation of Colorado)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 03: Screenwriter, director and producer Shonda Rhimes and Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama pose for a photo together during Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2017 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
DENVER, CO - JULY 25: Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaks, emphasizing that women must celebrate their strength, during a live conversation with The Women's Foundation of Colorado at Pepsi Center on July 25, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The Women's Foundation of Colorado)
THE 25TH ESPYS - Theatre - The world's best athletes and biggest stars join host Peyton Manning for 'The 25th ESPYS presented by Capital One' live from the Microsoft Theater on WEDNESDAY, JULY 12 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on ABC. (Photo by Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE OBAMA
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 12: Former First Lady Michelle Obama (C) speaks onstage with Special Olympics athletes at The 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 7: Former U.S. President Barack Obama receives the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy as Michelle Obama and Jack Schlossberg look on at the John F. Kennedy Library May 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Obama was honored for 'his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century,' with specific mention of his expansion of healthcare options, his leadership on confronting climate change and his restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba. (Photo by CJ Gunther-Pool/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 03: Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for a roundtable discussion at the South Shore Cultural Center about the Obama Presidential Center, which is scheduled to be built in nearby Jackson Park, on May 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Presidential Center design envisions three buildings, a museum, library and forum. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 03: Former first lady Michelle Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel arrive for a roundtable discussion at the South Shore Cultural Center about the Obama Presidential Center, which is scheduled to be built in nearby Jackson Park, on May 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Presidential Center design envisions three buildings, a museum, library and forum. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama waves and greets the audience during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama speaks during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Michelle Obama leaves Upland restaurant on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
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