Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond

The World of WE - Part 1: David Lippiatt

March 10, 2022 Season 3 Episode 20
Frame of Reference - Sauk County and Beyond
The World of WE - Part 1: David Lippiatt
Show Notes Transcript

You know how you meet those people in your life when you're young, just out of school and feel like the world is your oyster, and you think "I wonder where they'll be in 40 years?"   Well my guest for this episode, David Lippiatt,  is a person that I met back in my oyster days and we were just sort of figuring out what to do with our lives.  I had just married my wife Ann, and he was dating her sister.  His relationship with her was not to be, but we never lost touch with each other and now FINALLY after all these years . . . we're getting caught up.  And boy do we have a LOT of catching up to do.  While I was out trudging through life and making a bunch of mistakes along the way, my friend Dave Lippiatt was out changing the world.  He's a phenomenal example of what happens when you put your life in God's hands and say "do with me what you will."

David Lippiatt is the cofounder, President and CEO of WE International Inc. (Est. 2007). Additionally, he has been invited to speak at the United Nations on several occasions to advocate on behalf of the Sahrawi people. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with degree in Philosophy and International Relations, and has a certificate in Foreign Policy from Oxford University, England. David is currently enrolled in the Notre Dame University Executive Leadership Certificate Program. His faith, heart of compassion and desire for justice is the driving force behind what causes him to respond to the overwhelming amount of global poverty and injustice issues affecting women, children and men in less developed countries.

Announcer:

Welcome to frame of reference informed intelligent conversations about the issues and challenges facing everyone in today's world, in depth interviews with salt counties, leaders and professionals to help you expand in and form your frame of reference, brought to you by the max FM digital network. Now, here's your host, Rauel LaBreche.

Rauel LaBreche:

And well, welcome to our weekly podcast, we actually know I found out looking at some stats that something like 17% of podcasts out there are weekly, they define it as every five to seven days. So this is your weekly podcast frame of reference, just in case you wondered. And, you know, downloaded this and forgot between the time you started downloading and you downloaded which show this was, but his frame of reference County and beyond. And today, I'm way beyond what we normally talk, you know, this, those of you who listen, we a lot of times talk with people in the sock county area and different positions. Last couple weeks, we were talking with Jeff Jelinek, who is the emergency services director and sock. But this week, and maybe next week, we'll see how this conversation goes. I'm talking with someone that is an old old friend, those of you that have people that have been in your life for a long period of time. And you will find I think as I do that you meet people early on, that you lose track of. But then when you reacquaint yourself with them, you realize why it was so much fun to know them back all those years ago. And my guest today is one of those folks. He's someone that I met 35 ish, 30 ish years ago. And since that time, he's gone on to do just great and mighty works for the big guy upstairs. And I'm very, very proud and very, very happy to that he reached out to me and said, Hey, Raul, by the way, your podcasts I like it. But you know, if you're talking about the and beyond, I work for someplace that goes way beyond. And that's enough Ado About Me. But our My guest is David Lippia, who is the president and CEO of an organization called Wii International. Correct. So my getting that right, if you are. So thank you did for joining us. And it's just it's so good to see you when we were both yucking it up. Yeah, in talking about old times trying to get caught up. I don't think we have spent enough time on catching up because 30 years to compression in about a half hour. Probably doesn't do it anywhere near justice, but finding out about our families and all that good stuff. So Dave, in remind me if I'm if I'm missing any of this, but so you and I met you were in Madison, and you finished your degree by that point at that arena. I

David Lippiatt:

don't remember if I had it's been so long. I met you at Madison for a while and then went to Madison. Yeah. And then ended up finishing at UW Milwaukee.

Rauel LaBreche:

Okay, and you're one of the few people in my life that I've known that were philosophy majors. And you know, people often I mean, I, I was a philosophy minor in school. But I think I've known to other folks that have philosophy degrees, which I remember that being kind of a joke that, you know, why do people get degrees in philosophy, right, which is the science of thinking essentially, right,

David Lippiatt:

exactly. I think my parents are still wondering what I'm going to do with it.

Rauel LaBreche:

What does one do with a degree in philosophy, right. But yeah, and that's actually a good topic to talk about it, maybe we can get to talk about that is the whole idea of philosophy and thinking, I mean, it's really a profession, about learning, methods of thinking, and challenging us to think about the ways that we think and maybe there's another way to think about this. Right? Exactly. And sure seems like in our culture today, they the degree of thinking that goes on a lot of times it was less than it could be. So any thoughts about that?

David Lippiatt:

Well, I Yeah. It's funny that you say that, Oh, besides philosophy, I had a degree in International Studies, and, but the whole question of meaning, what is meaning and, you know, how does our lives have meaning? I think it's just a really huge one. So as I have pursued my career, doing what I do, yeah, I'm regularly wrestling with the meaning and how we're helping people live meaningful lives, meaningful stories.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah. And isn't it interesting to how with meaning, there are so much forces, so many forces that try to make things meaningless. I mean, it's almost like there is a concentrated effort to take away meaning. Yeah, in a lot of people's lives, you know, this has meaning the sisters a matter whatever. And I I find that to be extremely depressing that People have so much skin in the game, if you will have made making things meaningless. It takes on I think it takes more faith to make things meaningless than it does to believe that there is some meaning and meaningfulness to our lives. Right? Yeah. So,

David Lippiatt:

yeah, and I and I would, and I used to think that, you know, and we've heard this too, like a meaningful life is agreeing to a certain set of precepts and standards, which, you know, I get that, but I think, I think it involves the doing the action. And throughout our lives, and what we do and what we give time and money and energy to and how we love people. That's where That's where there's meaning at. And so I felt like what I've given my life to helping people live better stories. It's about the, it's about the action, it's about the doing, and not just being passive observers. Because sometimes we can just sit watching Life, and as we've been even catching up, right, you're just kind of like, life goes so fast, and you're in, you know, we can easily just be be watching life go by fast. And then I mean, we live it, but I think meaningful lives, meaningful stories, takes action. It takes engagement. And, you know, I mean, I say this to people regularly, when, if I asked, somebody will tell me, tell me about the meaningful moments in your life, and they'll talk about maybe, you know, them being able to graduate, you know, the work that went into that, or marriage or, you know, having children. You know, but I think oftentimes people talk about, you know, whether it's their careers or whatever, they talk about meaningful trips that they've done, even if it's just a vacation or how they helped someone. point and point being, when they were engaged in actually doing something actively involved. So anyway, that was, I don't know, that was a bunny trail yet, but I know you and I are going to be able to talk for this might be more than two weeks.

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, you know, and I, it's so I think of the film, you're talking about meaningfulness and looking at our lives that way, you know, one of the most popular films at Christmas time always is It's a Wonderful Life. Right? And, and Jimmy Stewart's journey during that of, you know, thinking that he, his life is just horrible. And the problems that he's into is so bad that he should just end it. All right. And he's, he's given the gift through God and the drive to see what the world would be like without him. And so in that process, he learns how much difference he has made in the world and how many, you know, triple trip, trickle down things there were as a result of actions that he directly did. And, you know, I, I would challenge people to think about for a second, not not only what things you may have done, that you don't really realize what kind of impact they had, because it's hard to, but then also think about the decisions that we all make each day. Yeah, right. And I can make a decision to help him to contribute and to you know, further things or I can make a decision to take for myself as much as I can. And that's a that's a difficult process, not seeing as easy no, because it goes against our nature and lives. Respect, but it's okay, so our first part you you've listened to the podcast before, you know how this whole game plays, right? We always start with my favorite things. Okay. All right, Julie. Julie Andrews should be singing but I can't get the rights to her song. So but you know, think of my favorite things right there. And I'm just going to go through these things kind of roar Shakti and you don't have to have the right answers. Just take the first gut things Dave just don't don't think about it too much. Just as we start thinking about it, it's gonna get crazy. All right, so your your favorite book? And don't say the Bible because I know you're gonna want to say that but yeah, I'm sorry. I'll give you that one. But what's another one?

David Lippiatt:

I give out a million miles and 1000 years. Book a lot million miles 1000 Because they talks about living a better story it talks about and I feel like life's about relationships. Who's I buy? The the million miles 1000 year book is by Donald Miller. Okay, so yeah, and yeah, so just about living a better story and when I talk about life being about relationships, so obviously what I do is we're about helping people in developing countries live better stories, but also whoever comes around our organization and is involved, we're like, you know, how can we cheer you on? How can we encourage you? It's made me really think about how I handle just relationships in general, like, you know, the people at the Kwik Trip. And not that I do it perfect, because when I'm driving I am I'm sure that I don't have the right attitude. But, you know, just like how you got really does I mean, person's face today? Yeah, you know, how can you Yeah, how can you make this person's life better? Because I just feel like, people come in and out of our lives, there's no coincidences.

Rauel LaBreche:

But yeah, it doesn't seem sometimes I mean, it's been my experience, at least, that people are just looking for someone to be human, with them, you know, to be respectful to be to treat them with dignity, you know. And when you go into a quick trip, you know, those of you that are in Germany or whatnot, a quick trip is a little convenience store. But a quick tip, those people don't get treated very well, a lot of the time, a lot of people don't get treated well, a lot of the time. So if you just treat people well, you know, it's amazing how that, you know, really folds in on itself, doesn't it? You know, you just, you don't have to have regrets about

David Lippiatt:

how you behave. I think people want to, people want to be seen, it's like, I remember reading the story one time, it was about this, this this woman, teacher, and she had to reapply for a job, she was older. And they're like, there was like this new, younger woman that, you know, kind of had everybody's attention. In all fairness, she said, this woman was very qualified, but for whatever reason, they had to reapply for the jobs. And this older woman didn't get her job and had to go into the principal's office and be like, well, you're going to find another job. And, and, and then I had shared this with somebody else, a friend who, you know, is about my age. And she said, yeah, it's, it's sometime it feels like, with age, or whatever, it feels like you're invisible. And it really made me think about the times where I see people, you know, whether it's, whether it's somebody just doing clean up at Wendy's or whatever, that people just don't notice them, or they don't care to notice. And I just feel like being seen, you know, I mean, there's this thing about being known and loved. I think everybody wants to be known and loved for who they are. So anyway,

Rauel LaBreche:

I wonder sometimes people don't make outlandish comments or, you know, really shake things up, because they do want to be seen, and they found that that's a way to get noticed is by just making outlandish statements that are what, you know, kind of reaction to it. But at least you got noticed. Yeah, right. It's that fundamental need of, you know, somebody, please notice me that great song by Stephen Sondheim from the musical company, that the leading actor sings about, you know, somebody teach me to love somebody sit in my chair, you know, just the simple things that you just have somebody around there that interrupts our lives, right. So, okay, how about a favorite quote?

David Lippiatt:

I don't really have a favorite quote. That that's coming to mind. Right off the hand. There's, there's, I think the one that's been speaking a lot, I think, recently, to me, is just what I had shared a bit ago, like to be known and loved. I think that's a super profound thing. I think everybody wants to be known and loved. And, yeah, and I don't know, if we all experience that, the way we the way we would like,

Rauel LaBreche:

there's a lot of therapy that centers on knowing yourself and learning to love yourself. Right, that. Yeah, that's an interesting thing. And yet, you know, we can know ourselves to some extent, but it is truly through other people that we really learn to know ourselves and the actions that we have, you know, towards others.

David Lippiatt:

Yeah. Just that desire. Right. You know, I mean, you think of the close relationships in your life, and you're, it's like, yeah, I want you to know, me and I want to be loved for who I am. And in understood, you know, and we all have our, you know, right, our public kind of best foot forward who we are and what people see or, you know, our resume or, you know, things that we do, but, you know, deep down, I think we're all a bit afraid of people seeing who we really are, you know, because we see, obviously the good and the bad, but Right, there's so much beauty in people. Right, right. I see that as you've been interviewing so many hundreds of people over the years. You're just like, people are amazing. We're just you Seeing people for the best of who they are, is really important.

Rauel LaBreche:

Right? Helping them to realize that sometimes I'm bringing out Yeah. Okay, easy ones favorite food.

David Lippiatt:

Favorite food? Gosh, that's really a tough one to go to so many places

Rauel LaBreche:

when you're an international traveler as well, I like

David Lippiatt:

I like sushi a lot like good sushi.

Rauel LaBreche:

Sushi. I cannot get behind this whole sushi thing. I of course, I was never a big fish lover. I grew up in a south side of Milwaukee where everyone is efficient lover and I had to be different than that like fish. So fish fry on a Friday night I was looking for burgers or chicken. You know, it's

David Lippiatt:

like, I mean, for a quick answer. I'd be like, well, let's do let's do some good pizza. Right? Okay. It's hard. Like when I come back from overseas, like one of the first things I want is is pizza.

Rauel LaBreche:

Okay. Tony Stark wants burgers. Right right away. So how about a favorite color? Do you have one?

David Lippiatt:

Probably Probably blue.

Rauel LaBreche:

Yeah. Okay. He's wearing navy. Black right now, folks, black trousers, black T shirt. He looks like Steve Jobs. I mean, I'm thinking I'm interviewing Steve Jobs here right now. Kind of balding, like Steve was too. So there's he got that whole thing going there. Dave? How about a favorite breed of dog?

David Lippiatt:

Probably right now. I would say boxer. Really? Yeah. If I had if someone would give me or a dog. Okay, there

Rauel LaBreche:

are 30 different boxers like French boxers English bison.

David Lippiatt:

I think just the standard what we think of as boxer. I like British Bulldogs to

Rauel LaBreche:

British Bulldogs. Really? Kind of.

David Lippiatt:

Yeah, I like hack lines. But that was my Bulldog.

Rauel LaBreche:

Sir. Bird, bird dog. So yeah, there's a lot of British bulldogs in the world in general out there. How about a favorite thing to do when you're stressed out when you need to just de stress their favorite place to go to or a favorite?

David Lippiatt:

Yeah, like how I Reese. I mean, I do pray. That's important part of my life. But I like to do something physical, whether I get out and run or actually go to the gym and lift or whatever. So those are usually reset.

Rauel LaBreche:

Is there a favorite? Like location? Like a place that's really special to you that you like to go to? Or? Or there's so many things that you're new? Yeah,

David Lippiatt:

I have a few special places. But if I shared it

Rauel LaBreche:

wouldn't be a special Oh, cuz then people will go there and maybe try Yeah,

David Lippiatt:

I mean, people go there now. But it's like fishing it like it's my

Rauel LaBreche:

it's a public park about it's mine. Ya know,

David Lippiatt:

you people don't know. It may say this title on the sign right? Want You to Know that right?

Rauel LaBreche:

The paparazzi will be waiting there for you so they can spoil your. So how about this is when I try to use it to transition. Next Gen but that, that favorite memory or favorite thing that you kind of go back to, or, you know, it's I think if it is those things that we run into in life, and all the sudden it reminds you of something that just makes you kind of sigh and smile and it is to you you're thankful for you know, that was a really cool experience. I'm thinking about you know, right now thinking about meeting you. And now all those discussions and all those years ago, and now I look across you and think you know, I'm just I'm gonna remember some of those. I'm gonna spend some more time remembering those because it was it was special. I wasn't

David Lippiatt:

Yeah, I was always enjoyed talking to you. I always felt like good, good stuff to say. I don't know if I did. But yeah, I enjoyed listening to you. You got me going. New singing. You know, pulling out your guitar, too, is always amazing, as well. So let me repeat back to

Rauel LaBreche:

So is there a favorite memory from memory go back to

David Lippiatt:

cost for life? Yeah,

Rauel LaBreche:

I guess in general, I mean, it doesn't have don't get caught up in the favorite of favorites. But is there something you think back to or find yourself regularly going back to and going? Boy, that was really formative. That was really that was important time?

David Lippiatt:

Well, as far as the context of like what I do. In 1999, spending time in Zimbabwe was super powerful. The interaction with the culture, events, people it was it was just all speaking very loud to me, which is, you know why I've rearranged my career to focus on developing countries.

Rauel LaBreche:

We're gonna take a quick break, can when we return, we'll continue our conversation with Dave. David is the CEO and President of we International. We're going to find out more about the international work that David's been doing and some of the challenges that he's faced in that work. So don't go anywhere. We'll be right back here. frame of reference after a word from our sponsor. In 1997 Max FM's digital network tired a lousy service. You know, President Woodrow Wilson once said there is no higher religion than that of human service, and Macfarlanes. We take that to heart and it drives us to do the best we can to serve you. Whether it's in the service we perform on your tractor, farm machinery lawn, more snow blower, chainsaw, car, truck or SUV, we're here at your service Macfarlanes, one block south of highway 12 At seven at Carolina street wear service is a family tradition. Welcome back to frame of reference, my guest today is David Lippia. David and I go way back I mean, like we rode dinosaurs to school back in the day. But David is the president CEO, co founder of an organization called we International, which I have to admit, I didn't know a whole lot about we international until Dave came back into my life. And I went onto the website and with Wow. Because it's pretty impactful work. But I go back to kind of a segue into that. David, you said, one of your favorite memories or things that was really formative for you was an experience you had in Zimbabwe. What in the world leads a person to go to Zimbabwe? It's like I don't wake up one day do and go. You know, what have I haven't done yet? I have not gone to Zimbabwe. I that's what I have not done. And it's time for me to get to greater Zimbabwe.

David Lippiatt:

Oh my gosh. Yeah. Well, it was it was kind of like my wife and I took inventory of our lives. And you know, like a lot of us it, you know, at various time.

Rauel LaBreche:

So how old? Were you at that point?

David Lippiatt:

Huh? Must have been in early 30. Okay, maybe. Okay.

Rauel LaBreche:

And you had been married for?

David Lippiatt:

Six, six years, I've been gone for seven years. Okay. Because we had the two we had to our two oldest son. Jordan is six. So and I think are five, five and three. I think the boys the two oldest boys were okay. So we were like, do we like where we're at, and we like our values in? You know, I think at some point, everybody rustles with like falling into a career. I don't know if I like this is this meaningful journey. So for us, we're like, let's take a break. So we ended up doing some training in England. And then from there went to Zimbabwe. And we were in some Bobby for a few months.

Rauel LaBreche:

Was this with YWAM? Because you talked about being Yeah, we did.

David Lippiatt:

Yeah, it was it was with YWAM sorts of faith based organization. And yeah, so as we were in Zimbabwe, not even, we didn't even really step out in this to thinking that we would do it long term, we just wanted a break. We wanted a chance to step back, take a look at life. And you know, Turman where we're going where we go next. So so in our time in Zimbabwe, working in villages, there was just a continual it all everything just seemed to point. You know, I would say it was a divine point to be involved with global work helping the poor, helping victims of injustice. And yeah, so that was, that was a huge catalyst, I think. And then we came back. And we worked in Colorado for an organization that mobilized high school and college aged kids into Mexico and Central America, we do team building, like adventure team building, experiential add type stuff to prepare the teams. And again, it was a faith based group. So there was, there was that component, which was beautiful. And yeah, it was just amazing to see live. So like I said earlier, I think life is about relationships. And, you know, the longer we walk, the more we realize, you know, they're the best things in life, also the most painful things in life. And

Rauel LaBreche:

why isn't that true? Yeah. It's so hard to for people to understand that they're in deep pain. I hear the question all the time. Why? Why? And I don't know that it's possible to answer the why, when you're in the middle of it, right. There has to be that trust factor of Well, I don't understand the why, but I'm going to trust that. There's some reason to it and then years later, you look back and go oh, yeah, that's why that was really a formative for me. That pain taught me Something that I'm now using today and so thankful for. Right? So it's an interesting journey with that, learning to embrace our own pain, right. So sorry, I interrupt.

David Lippiatt:

Okay, so yeah, that was the question. And that was really the catalyst that started us on this journey to determine how we are going to and what it looks like. So it's still unfolding, though.

Rauel LaBreche:

So did we international came out of that experience. But did you then stay involved with Zimbabwe? I guess I'm asking what what for people that don't know anything about we, what does we stand for? What wasn't?

David Lippiatt:

Yeah, it's a it's basically an inclusive name that takes everybody to make a difference. But it comes from booboo to African philosophy, like we're all one. You know, how can I be? How can I be well fed when you're hungry? That we're connected in terms of like humanity. So and it takes everybody to make a difference. So it's not just, it's not me International. It's people that come along, people that want to make a difference. And there's a lot of great organizations out there. But I just felt like, you know, there's a, you know, you see things that happen, and I was like, Well, I want to take a swing at this and started we International in 2007. And 15 years ago, hard it hard at it. Yeah, I know, it's kind of crazy. I mean, you know, it's slow getting started. And, you know, we had a broad brushstroke at first, and but I continued to come back to the issues of gender based violence, you know, which, you know, there's a whole array of things that fall under that from, you know, child marriages to bribe burning to, you know, female genital mutilation. FGM, female circumcision. Obviously, you know, human trafficking, whether it's labor trafficking, or sex trafficking, which, you know, people hear a lot about, but when I started hearing about it, nobody was talking about it. When I was horrified. I still am. It, horrifies me and angers me that how could anybody be owned by another human being, you know, that, that somehow somebody would be considered property. So, we've, we've continued to focus on that we do some other broader programs that address trafficking, but I mean, dress poverty, but a lot, most human trafficking is linked to poverty.

Rauel LaBreche:

So we International is really trying to address specific needs that that are in a specific geographical area as well. I mean, are you still we've

David Lippiatt:

kind of landed on Africa. Okay. You know, once again, it was like, you know, a lot of times people ask me, where, how do we determine where we go, one is our values, and then being value driven. You know, is there a need? Well, you can spin the globe and put your finger down and find need. I mean, there's trafficking that happens in Wisconsin right.

Rauel LaBreche:

Now the Dallas i There's a gentleman up there that I've talked with that a lot of traffic comes through the delis because of the tourist industry and the kids that are working and whatnot. It's easy to kind of hide Yeah, that stuff. Yeah. Whether the midst of it.

David Lippiatt:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So. And then, like, do I have a relationship one somewhere that we could build on and never establish? So like, you know, November, we were in Nepal. There's estimated, you know, 20 to 30,000, women and girls that are trafficked out of

Rauel LaBreche:

Nepal, mostly 20 or 30,000.

David Lippiatt:

And is that something I mean? It's like, it's hard to get your head around. It's like, it's like a little city. And

Rauel LaBreche:

that's several said I'm in Sauk Prairie where I'm from is 7000 8000 people between two towns. So

David Lippiatt:

that doesn't even count the internal amount of trafficking. That's, that's happening. For me. It's just one area. Versus Yeah, just one area. So but yeah, so mostly it mostly we focus on Africa, we've worked in Asia, we worked in the Philippines.

Rauel LaBreche:

There was a specific people if I remember looking at your website, there are specific people that you were engaged with. Yeah,

David Lippiatt:

I'm, yeah, it's kind of funny. I've, I've we don't work with them as much as I would like in you know, and there's, there's a number of reasons why that but I'm International. You know, I guess for lack of a better word. I'm an expert on the situation Western Sahara, the Sahara, we people on the SAR, we Western Sahara is The Last Colony in Africa. So in that movement in the 60s 70s when Africa became, you know, started decolonizing you know, the colonial powers would decolonize turn their countries back over to the nationals of those countries. Western Sahara was Spanish Sahara, when, you know some of the listeners were kids, but it's been over 40 years. And Spain relinquish the territory and Morocco invaded. So Morocco's laid claim to Western Sahara, but the United Nations International Court of Justice, the African Union, many places still recognize with Western Sahara is right to sovereignty to self determination. Morocco is just unwilling to relinquish it. So, I've been, uh, yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's an amazing story in itself, how I got involved with that. And now I go to the United Nations and advocate for the people of Western Sahara. And I mostly focused on human rights issues in Western Sahara. Okay, so but anyway, that's a whole that's a whole. That could be a whole podcast, about Western Sahara. Yeah, it's kind of it's really interesting. And the situation, I mean, these people have been many of them in refugees for, you know, over 40 years, you know, the situation is almost more dire in a lot of ways than the palace Tinian Israeli conflict. So, anyway,

Rauel LaBreche:

yeah, yeah, it seems like there is no limit to the suffering that we can cause in other people's lives in that we are allowed to, right. It's just a very, very dark place, which actually, I've been thinking of this question keeps coming over and over again, people that are involved in the sorts of things that you're involved in the cab, the big world picture. You know, there are folks that are like, well, there's plenty of problems here in the United States, because I mean, that the things you're talking about are essentially the the cornerstones of racism, you know, the owning others and, you know, continuing to struggle to own those people in ways that, you know, laws are formed that keep you from doing it. And and all the sudden you, you realize, well, I can't do it that way. Now, I have to do it this way. Right. There's a, there's kind of that playing a game that folks played to maintain control. I'd say all that because in your situation, I would think here you are on a global basis, seeing this stuff all over, all over. You can, like I said, Put your finger on the globe, and there's a need there. That seems to me to be extremely challenging to just maintain a mindset of I, somebody needs to step in this doorway. Somebody needs to help here. Do you find what what advice would you give to someone who looks at these situations goes, Oh, my God, I can't make a difference. There's, there's nothing I can do.

David Lippiatt:

Yeah, right. No, and I and I, yeah, and I get that. And it's in some times people say, Well, why, you know, there's stuff happening. And Wisconsin, why aren't you doing that? And I'm like, well, there's plenty of there's plenty of resources. I don't think people realize the gap. I mean, we live in the West, as Westerners, we'd have to work really hard not to be comfortable. And the rest of the world has to work really hard to be comfortable. And, and to be there's no, there's no government back up. There's no social services and developing countries, the annual income of most of the our clients is somewhere between three and $500. Right what they make a year, so and as people know, a lot of the world lives on less than $1 a day or less than $2 a day. So

Rauel LaBreche:

we use an interesting word there to David comfortable, we we in the US have a really different idea of what comfortable is, I think the rest of the world does to us comfortable as Jeff Bezos level comfortable, right? And if we don't have Jeff Bezos lever level comfortable, then you know, something's wrong. I should have that too, right. Whereas as you're talking about one or $2 a day is not enough to be comfortable, but so many more people in the world are thankful for the one or $2 a day. They're not saying I should be Jeff Bezos. Yeah, right. So is that

David Lippiatt:

yeah, well, yeah. I mean, if you own a house, car and a computer, you're in the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the world. It was like what? Yeah, that's like, that's not even try. I mean, there's exceptions. Nobody's gonna starve to death in America unless they want to. I just think that there's enough resources and things out there for people to get food if they really need it.

Rauel LaBreche:

Well, even if it's not, that you're physically wanting to, it would. What's really a shame to me is that people are ignorant of all that is there. I find that regularly then it's like, Well, why don't you do this and why Don't you do that? I didn't even know that existed? Yeah, I mean, yeah, how can you not know, you know, all the services that are available? And it's some people just don't seem to, or there's other illnesses in the way there that, you know, make it difficult to avail yourself of them, right.

David Lippiatt:

i Yeah. And I just encourage people. I encourage people to do something, you know, sometimes we get caught up on the things that we don't do, like, we don't, you know, commit murder, we don't do this, you know, the so called sins that are out there. And I think it's, I think it's a greater tragedy, in some ways, almost, that there's so much that you can do out there, and people don't do anything. Like, you don't have to even have to dress trafficking. You know, that's just one thing that I'm focused on. But there's, there's so many issues out there, there's so many needs, like, help somebody, you know, get, I mean, our lives are better when we don't want navel gazing. You know, we're just looking at our own stuff, our own situations, like, you know, there's people out there that you can help you can go bake cookies for the, the neighbor that never gets out that's living in fear over COVID or whatever. Yeah,

Rauel LaBreche:

yeah. So there's a philosopher, I've always enjoyed, Edmund Burke, from the 18th century. And he, he one of his quotes, I'm paraphrasing, but I think this is closest, says that one of the greatest mistakes a person can make, is to do nothing, because they feel that what they can do is so little. And so you think about that, that how many, how many good acts could be done on a daily basis? If we would just say, Well, I know this isn't much, but I'm going to do it anyways. You know, I, I know, I could be nice to this person, a quick trip, but I'm gonna, you know, and I'm going to do it anyways, I know, it probably won't matter. But you know, the number of times you do that over time, you start to realize holy, they really look forward to me coming in, because I'm always nice to them. Yeah, one of the few people that I know their name, right? Yeah, hey, Joe, how's it going there? You know, whatever, those little

David Lippiatt:

things are big things. Because sometimes people are like, you know, they'll see, well, you're doing this as an organization. Dave, your life is about this, you know, and, and, you know, great, I'm, I'm glad that I've had the opportunities that I've had to do the things that I do, and we international does. But it's the little things that are the big things. It's extending forgiveness. I mean, think of all of us, if you'd hear if you talk about forgiveness, everybody can think of somebody that they need to forgive is extending grace to people. It's just, it's just loving those that are in our circle. Well, and we call them little things. I mean, you're not starting orphanage, but those are big things, and never to be taken lightly. But you know, do those. And I need to do those. Yeah. Anyway. Got a soapbox.

Rauel LaBreche:

I hear you, folks. My guest today is David, who is the CEO president of we International. We just got started talking about that. So we're going to wrap up this episode and come right back. We're gonna keep the tape rolling, basically. But you're gonna have to wait until next week to hear the how the rest of this conversation goes. So I hope you'll do that. Because I know we are just kind of skimming the top, the very top of the very top right now. So don't go anywhere. We'll be right back. We're closing thoughts for this week's episode. And we'll be right back next week with a continuing conversation with David. So right here on 90 minutes of the max at fam digital network, and frame of reference.

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Rauel LaBreche:

We've come to the point in my podcast where I tried to come up with some way to integrate and illustrate the discussion and topic and the current episode. To be honest, I'm struggling this time. I think because the work of we International is so far beyond anything I can comprehend. As I write this in the comfort of my Easy boy chair. Looking at their website I see the following 327 Women and Girls rescued from sex trafficking, gender based violence, oppression and poverty a women at risk home established waterwell project in the Sudan, a restorative home established in the Philippines, this and so much more is elaborated upon and celebrated on the website, www mi international.org. It leaves me feeling both hopeful and overwhelmed. I think about all that can be done, and needs to be done to make our world a place of hope. One can argue that we have plenty of this sort of work to do right here in the US. But I have to ask, shouldn't our frame of reference be that injustice and cruelty fought anywhere, is in fact fought everywhere? David Lippia. And all the staff and volunteers are fighting to make a difference, as are many other similar agencies here and abroad. How can we help? Can we somehow find the strength and resolve to make a difference somehow, some way in the life of someone so much worse off than we are? David and I continue to talk about this and just the tip of the iceberg. With regards to the work that we internationalist pursuing. I hope you can tune in. It's a conversation that has changed me, or at least reawakened in me a passion to make the world a better place for my children and my children's children. Tell them stay well.