Writing is a journey in reflection and connection, allowing the writer an opportunity to share what may be a path, an armament, a liberation, or a window of wisdom with those who wish to receive it.
Ingrid Friese Petty

On the long and winding road from teenage runaway to unlikely administrative professional, “flying by the seat of my pants” became a way of life — while an often risky and always unguided undertaking. Families can be a messy place to grow up.

Seeing beyond perspectives that are built-in due to our individual cultures and societal environments leads us to finding community. This opens the window into what truly matters beyond our own self-preservation.

I found out that recognizing champions in life takes effort and concentration. Building authentic relationships is paramount. The lesson is in learning about human nature and what relationships can be. The give-and-take involved can leave one exposed, threatened, betrayed, unmoored. Thankfully, it can also reward one with coming to know the most remarkable individuals. I am fortunate to have had some of the best, with much to give, as part of my life.

One of these champions brought me into the world of philanthropy and charitable giving. Here I met with a true understanding of community, relationship, giving, and sharing in concern for others who face seemingly insurmountable barriers. The greatest gift of this journey has come not from ensuring my own survival and success through the challenges and pitfalls of life, but from realizing that there are many strong survivors among us who, if you just see them, will thrive.

Take time to see. Take time to help. Make a point of giving back.

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