First Lady Michelle Obama had some strong words for the graduating class of Martin Luther King Jr. Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois. She advised the class on how to get past "struggles."
The first lady's main point was "a lesson about how to get through those struggles, and that is, instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you," as Obama said. "Let them make you even hungrier to succeed."
Obama continued: "Now, I know that many of you have already dealt with some serious losses in your lives. Maybe someone in your family lost a job or struggled with drugs or alcohol or an illness. Maybe you’ve lost someone you love, someone you desperately wish could be here with you tonight. And I know that many of you are thinking about Hadiya right now and feeling the hole that she’s left in your hearts.
"So, yes, maybe you’ve been tested a lot more and a lot earlier in life than many other young people. Maybe you have more scars than they do. Maybe you have days when you feel more tired than someone your age should ever really feel. But, graduates, tonight, I want you to understand that every scar that you have is a reminder not just that you got hurt, but that you survived. (Applause.) And as painful as they are, those holes we all have in our hearts are what truly connect us to each other. They are the spaces we can make for other people’s sorrow and pain, as well as their joy and their love so that eventually, instead of feeling empty, our hearts feel even bigger and fuller.
"So it’s okay to feel the sadness and the grief that comes with those losses. But instead of letting those feelings defeat you, let them motivate you. Let them serve as fuel for your journey. See, that’s what folks in this community have always done. Just look at our history."