WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Barack Obama’s advice to his two daughters and anyone worried about the election of Donald Trump is not to “get into a fetal position” and put the outcome in context.

Asked by The New Yorker’s David Remnick what Obama told his daughters Sasha and Malia about the election, the president said that “societies and cultures are really complicated.”

“This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it’s messy,” the departing president said in a wide-ranging interview.

“You don’t get into a fetal position about it. You don’t start worrying about apocalypse. You say, O.K., where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward,” Obama added.

Protests have broken out in cities across the nation since Trump was elected. A white nationalist was bloodied during an anti-racist protest in Washington over the weekend.

“Your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding,” Obama told the New Yorker. “And you should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish. And it doesn’t stop.”