Many of us dread meetings. Either because they can be boring or often full of people who are full of themselves, or who have hidden agendas. We have meetings at work, at our places of worship and when we volunteer. Sometimes, though, when your facing down a tough crowd, or making an unpopular point, someone will stand at your side. An unexpected ally will stand up beside you and say that they believe what you believe and that they find some truth, perhaps even some beauty in what you are saying. This is the moment that the heart swells, cheeks glow with the rosy confidence of youth and words flow easily, like beads of water thrown into the air from a spring that cascade out and down in glittering jets. Find an ally or being an ally to someone, especially when it is unexpected is a precious gift.