4. Chase Down Your Hero

On our 2010 Life List: chase down your hero.

Dalai Lama    

I'm not a Buddhist. But of anyone on earth, the person I'd most wanted to see was the Dalai Lama. He'd been at the top of my list for more than a decade. A few of my other heroes died before I got a chance: Edmund Hillary, Evel Knievel, James Brown. But they're not the Lama. This past May, I decided to stop waiting. I checked his schedule, redeemed some frequent-flier miles, and took an inconvenient late-night flight to Indianapolis to hear the 75-year-old spiritual leader speak for an hour to a crowd of more than 9,000 people in a pin-drop-quiet basketball arena. I watched most of the talk on the JumboTron. Then I flew home. Sure, I could have just watched the Internet feed, but it wouldn't have been the same. There was something else at work in that arena, something personal that doesn't translate in any medium. I can't begin to say what. You just had to be there.

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