The Audacity of Hope

First Lady Michelle Obama gave her final address as the nation's first lady today, and, during her remarks, she spoke about the power of hope.

And when you encounter obstacles — because I guarantee you, you will; and many of you already have — when you are struggling, and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives, and that is the power of hope — the belief that something better is always possible if you're willing to work for it and fight for it.

It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear, that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that, if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The hope that, when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe, they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.
This, of course, is aspirational. There is no guarantee of something better just through sheer will and tenacity. But that's not what she's saying. She's saying that hope must, especially in times of despair, underwrite the hard work and indubitability that progress requires.

Hope is what keeps demoralization at bay. And, in this moment, that is a very important message indeed.

It is certainly one I need to hear.

Thank you, FLOTUS.

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