Sometimes those of us in Washington DC take ourselves too seriously. I’ve fallen into that trap more than once. So, when it came time to shoot our video on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) hoop house offering, launched last year as part of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative, we decided to have some fun. On a beautiful late November day, I joined White House chef Sam Kass to put small hoops over the garden beds at the First Lady’s garden. This video captures the fun we had.
Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture, has always placed high value on humor. Writing last August in the Wichita Eagle, he wrote:
One of the most underestimated tools in politics, leadership and life is a sense of humor — the ability to laugh not just at others but at ourselves. More than ever, we need humor’s deflationary influence in the nation’s capital. It’s an essential release valve, a check on all the overheated rhetoric and a bridge to real dialogue.
Mark Twain got it right when he said, “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
Humor alone can’t solve our problems. But it can open the door to greater civility, a little more humanity and some much-needed productivity in our nation’s governance.