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American First Lady Series – Finding Inspiration in Difficult Times

During the current pandemic, many are looking to our country’s leadership to find encouragement and strength as we all face a frightening and unprecedented time. Let’s not forget there were other times in the history of this country when we faced difficult circumstances, and although the details are different, we are all being called to dig deep, answer the call, and rise to the challenge. American First Ladies have been beacons of strength and comfort during these times. Their words encouraging and uplifting to the people who need them most. This article will share some quotes I find especially inspirational. Even though many of the quotes are taken from another time and place, the words highlight the strong American spirit embodied in our First Ladies and the belief, that together, we can overcome any adversity.

Some Words of Wisdom from American First Ladies

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.


These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.


You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’


You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.


All lives have triumphs and tragedies, laughter and tears, and mine has been no different. What really matters is whether, after all of that, you remain strong and a comfort to your loved ones.


When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.


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.


As citizens of this great nation, it is kindness, love, and compassion for each other that will bring us together – and keep us together.


K. Lynn McFarlen is the Community Outreach Director for Langeland Family Funeral Homes. Lynn is excited to share what she has learned about the fascinating topic of First Lady history. From social impact to political influence, these ladies have made many lasting contributions to our country and the American people.

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