Michelle Obama’s Most Inspiring Quote

In Honor of Her 53rd Birthday, 15 of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Most Inspiring Quotes

  • By Diana Pearl

Tuesday marks First Lady Michelle Obama‘s 53rd birthday — and her final one in office. In honor of the milestone, we’ve rounded up some of her most powerful and inspiring quotes from the past eight years.

1. On individual importance:
“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.”

On a visit to South Africa in 2011

2. On the future of America’s young people:
“For all the young people in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you—to all of you, from every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition — the infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth.”

From her final speech as first lady in January 2017

3. On measuring success:
“Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.”

— From her 2012 commencement speech at Oregon State University

4. On being your own role model:
“If we want maturity, we have to be mature. If we want a nation that feels hopeful, then we have to speak in hopeful terms. We have to model what we want.”

— From her final interview as first lady with Oprah Winfrey in December 2016

5. On the power of education:
“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don’t be afraid. You hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear.”

From her final speech as first lady in January 2017 

6. On overcoming fear:
“I am so tired of fear. And I don’t want my girls to live in a country, in a world, based on fear.”

At a campaign event in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 2008

7. On helping others:
“I will always be engaged in some way in public service and public life. The minute I left my corporate law firm to work for the city, I never looked back. I’ve always felt very alive using my gifts and talents to help other people. I sleep better at night. I’m happier.”

— From an interview with Vogue for their December 2016 issue

8. On being true to yourself:

“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.”

— From a 2008 interview with Marie Claire

9. On being the bigger person:
“When they go low, we go high.”

— From a speech given at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

10. On the importance of empowering women:
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.”

— At the Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in July 2014

11. On what it means to be a leader:
“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. 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.”

— At the Young African Women Leaders Forum in June 2011

12. On giving back:
“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back.”

— At a meeting with the 2013-2014 White House Fellows in September 2012

13. On possibility and opportunity:
“This time, we decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming. How this time, in this great country — where a girl from the South Side of Chicago can go to college and law school, and the son of a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House – we committed ourselves to building the world as it should be.”

— During a speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention

14. On what to look for in a partner:
“Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn’t know. And, more important, how does he treat you? When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good.”

— From an interview with Glamour in 2009

15. On the importance of humor:
“What I have never been afraid of is to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way. My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen. So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.”



                                                                            Michelle Obama-2017

What We Can Learn From Standing Rock


I like the concept of surprise compassion. I wonder if there might not be more compassion in the world if we didn’t find ourselves posturing for the cameras, looking for the right angle, or trying to find the best spin.


If the eyes of the our communities were not on us, if the media would not interpret our actions as weakness, would we act different? That is my question for this eve of the eve of Chanukah and the eve of Christmas eve.


The knowledge gained by the non-native people after observing the native people celebrating their spiritual rights is important. The experience is invaluable. The knowledge that our native people have kept to their own spiritual path and have found nurture and guidance is amazing to me. We, the white supremacists, thought we had gotten rid of the pagan worship they had practiced before our landing. We made a wonderful attempt with genocide. I am happy to know that we failed.


The phrase “a template for resistance” also caught my eye and my heart. So after hundreds of years, the native people have given to the whites a plan, a diagram if you will,  on how to survive all that we must survive over the next four years. Actually, not just survive because that isn’t enough, we must thrive. We must thrive to protect and be compassionate to the marginalized around us. There are many and our work is sacred and vital to those lives. Perhaps we are on the path to finding out that though we may look different, we are all the same. We, humans, are brother and sister, cut from the same cloth, children of the same Universe. We are all called to walk in respect, love and kindness for one another. While our paths are called by different names, they are all the same path.



The Sacred Pipe


With this pipe you will be bound to all your relatives:

your Grandfather and Father,

your Grandmother and Mother. 

This round rock,

which is made of the same red stone in the bowl of the pipe,

your Father Wakan-Tanka has also given to you.

It is the earth,your Grandmother and  Mother,

and it is there where you will live and increase.

This Earth which He has given to you is red,

and the two-leggeds who live upon the earth are red;

and the Great Spirit has also given to you a red day,

and a red road.

All of this is sacred and so do not forget!

Every dawn as it comes is a holy event, 

and every day is holy,

for the light comes from your Father Waken-tanka;

and also you must remember that the two-leggeds and all the other peoples who stand upon this earth are sacred and

should be treated as such.

——————–Oglala Sioux Ritual 

The Essential Wisdom of the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is a very special person. He is the political and spiritual leader of Tibet which was taken from the Tibetan people by the Chinese. They say that having at one time owned Tibet, they do now also. I think it is kind of like Russia saying they own the Ukraine. Greed for land and minerals and egos are behind these actions. Tibet was invaded by the Chinese back in the fifties and a teenaged Dalai Lama was secreted out of the country and took refuge in India. Many Tibetan people left with the Dalai Lama and in the weeks and months thereafter. The Dalai Lama was the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. The temples were invaded and monks and nuns were tortured, raped and murdered. The world stood by and watched it happen. They really had nothing to make them valuable to the rest of the world, so the country was devastated.



I have met him back in the eighties and I found him to be a wonderful spirit with a good sense of humor, and a sincere and peaceful energy. It would be so easy for him to be angry, resentful or to have turned away from his faith. Instead, I found a man of peace, a man who worries about his people, and a man who has never held any grudges against the countries who didn’t come to the aid of his people. His teachings are wise, peaceful and full of compassion. We are so lucky to have him and his wonderful spirit here in the world. I believe he is the source of much positive energy that fights the darkness that is also here.


It amazes me that a country at the top of the world would have been worth stealing from its people. To seal the immoral bargain, the Chinese people were moved into Tihet and encouraged to marry Tibetans. People who didn’t always have a choice. It is a form of genocide because  there will be fewer and fewer people who can claim they are of Tibetan ancestry.


The Dalai Lama has taught and spread his message all over the world and he is seldom still, except in meditation. I thought I would share some of his teachings with all of you. No matter what path you follow, you can add these teachings. They do not contradict any other teachings.






“Love, compassion, and concern for others are real sources of happiness. With these in abundance, you will not be disturbed by even the most uncomfortable circumstances. If you nurse hatred, however, you will not be happy even in the lap of luxury. Thus, if we really want happiness. we must widen the sphere of love. This is both religious thinking and basic common sense.”


” Unless our minds are stable and calm, no matter how comfortable our physical condition may be, they will give is no pleasure. Therefore, the key to a happy life, now and in the future, is to develop a happy mind.”


“If the basic human nature was aggressive, we would have been born with animal claws and huge teeth—but our are very short, very pretty, very weak! That means we are not well equipped to be aggressive beings. Even the size  of our mouth is very small. So I think the basic nature of human beings should be gentle.”


“Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. In contrast, if you control your anger and show its opposite—love, compassion, tolerance, and patience—then not only will you remain in peace, but the anger of others also will gradually diminish.”


“As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it. ”






“Tibet is distinguished by its extraordinary geography, the unique race and language of its people, and the rich culture they have developed over 2,100 years of recorded history. approximately six million Tibetans populate our country, which covers around 2.5 million square Kilometers, an area the size of Western Europe. In the Tibetan culture, our relations with nature, including animals, were very peaceful. We lived in great harmony with nature. At its foundation and thereafter, after the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet, Tibetan society in general was characterized by compassion and openness. It was a society where people felt at ease. For those reasons I believe it might serve as an example.”


“Fundamentally, the issue of Tibet is political. It is an issue of colonial rule: the oppression of Tibet by the  People’s Republic of China and resistance to that rule by the people of Tibet. This issue can be resolved only through negotiations and not, as China would have it, through force, intimidation and population transfer.”


” Violations of human rights in Tibet have a distinct character. Such abuses are aimed at Tibetian as a people from asserting their own identity and their wish to preserve it. Thus, human rights violations in Tibet are often the result of institutionalized racial and cultural discrimination.”



             This is a short prayer written by the Dalai Lama


For as long as space endures,

And for as long as living beings remain.

Until then may I, too, abide

To dispel the misery of the world.




 The Buddha



The Dalhai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

The Dalai Lama and his wise and love filled words.



What is dying inside of you?

What is dying inside of you?  

The Path to The One

Creation Picture from The Gathas of Zarathushtra

The Zorathushtra is the Prophet of the Zoroastrian religion. Zarathushtra is believed to be the first in human history to have founded a religion based on the ethical values of Truth and Justice. He taught that there was one God and his name was Ahura Mazda, Lord of Life and Wisdom. It is considered to be the most ancient of the revealed religions.

It is not known exactly when Zarathushtra lived or when the Gathas were composed. The Greeks considered him a very ancient prophet and placed him around 6000 BC.

The language the Gathas were written in is called Gathic or Old Avestan to distinguish them from the later tests, such as the Rig-Vida.

Zarathusthra describes himself as a Zaotar. He identified with oppressed peoples, the poor and downtrodden. His disciples defended the herders and the marginalized.

Even though many declare that there are many differences between religions or spiritual paths; there really are so many similarities. It is as if we could take all the similarities of God/Goddess/Divine Energy and put them all together as if it were a puzzle. I think if we put them together we would have a truer and more accurate picture of The One. I do want to stress that Zarthushtra was the first prophet to proclaim that there is one God. And God demands humans to choose The Truth and live by it. Mankind must also take responsibility for their actions.

In his position as prophet he prayed for himself because he knew that he would suffer much in his efforts to do what was best for mankind. He chose to live in truth and to teach how Ahura Mazda reaches out to all mankind with his blessings.

This is from the Gathas. It is Yasna 43. I think it is very beautiful.

“May that man of innate nobility
progress from good to greater good.
May he instruct us
concerning the straight paths of salvation in this
bodily life and that of the mind.
There are the paths
where Ahura Mazda Himself dwells.
And so your ardent devotee
becomes one like you, O Mazda,
resplendent in Wisdom.”

” Ahura Mazda’s First Thought
blazed into myriads of sparks of light
and filled the entire heavens.
He Himself, in His Wisdom,
is the Creator of Truth which
upholds His Supreme Mind.

When I held You in my mind’s eye,
then I realized You, O Mazda,
as the First and the Last for all of Eternity,
as the Father of Good Mind,
the true Creator of Truth,
and Lord over the actions of life.”

These translations are by Piloo Nanavutty.

I am so amazed and moved at how the different paths take us to The One and that ultimately we have hated without reason, fought wars for no reason, and failed to love others because they were different from us. This is not what humans are supposed to be doing. We are supposed to be living with compassion and love and caring for others. We can choose to change this. It will work to change one person at a time. If each of us live with compassion, love and caring we can make progress on the path to living the way The Eternal wants us to.

The Road of Wisdom

I have been thinking about the words of wisdom which many people have shared with the world over the generations. So many voices have spoken out with truth about humanity, spirituality and cultural issues such as racism, peace and sexism.

Many of these people are dead and often not the type of person you would expect to hear words of wisdom. Dr. Martin Luther King was a man from whom we expected wise thinking. King Solomon was also a man gifted with the ability to be wise.

There have been others who have an unexpected wisdom. Not great religious leaders, not academics, or even politicians. Some of the wisest thoughts I have heard came from left field. The rock star, John Lennon, the comedian, George Carlin, and Reggae singer, Bob Marley. I understand that this is unexpected but they have spoken out about peace, racism, love, and equality. I am hearing their words more often since they have passed over. So while they were the best in their chosen fields, they have left incredible words which can continue to inspire and motivate us to live the very best way that we can in every moment.

” Who are you to judge the life I live? I am not perfect and I don’t have to be! Before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean.”
—Bob Marley

These words and all of the wisdom which preceded them are so very on target. Not said the way a preacher or a politician would say them but they go to the center of a person’s heart. The perfect bulls-eye for the twenty-first century. We must come to young people today in ways they can respond to and change themselves and our world in the ways that are needed.

We have one world, one life and one destiny and it is shared by the 7 billion + human beings on this planet. We have to hear and we have to share the wisdom that will save the world.


Mensen maken de samenleving en nemen daarin een positie in. Deze website geeft toegang tot een diversiteit aan artikelen die gaan over 'samenleven', belicht vanuit verschillende perspectieven. De artikelen hebben gemeen dat er gezocht wordt naar wat 'mensen bindt, in plaats van wat hen scheidt'.

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