People Magazine
February 01, 2018 1:00 pm
JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images

When former First Lady Michelle Obama sat down for an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday, she did more than just entertain the nation — she also soothed its fears.

In her first TV interview since leaving the White House, Obama was asked by a “frightened” DeGeneres for advice on how to cope in what she sees as a “very scary” world right now. Though the TV host didn’t mention any names, she appeared to be referring to the current state of politics under President Donald Trump’s administration.

“People are afraid,” Obama acknowledged. “But then there are people who feel good about the direction of the country. So that’s what makes this country complicated, because it’s made up of so many different people from different backgrounds. We are this mosh pit of society and sometimes there’s a rub.”

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The former first lady encouraged people to continue to “love each other, to take care of each other, to show empathy” — no matter how hard it may be at times.

Obama added that as first lady she visited many towns and cities across the country and said that even when people she met didn’t agree with her or her husband, “They were kind, they were hard-working, they were trying to the right things every day. And that’s what we have to remember about each other. That’s who we are.”