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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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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