It was right out of a movie. Except that in the original Saw, there were only two guys. This time there were four, including me.

To my left was the Dali Lama. Directly in front of me, Neil deGrasse Tyson, renown astrophysicist. To my right, PayPal and Tesla Motors founder, Elon Musk.

“Hello. Would you like to play a game?”

We all looked up, expecting to see our capture looking down on us from a hole in the ceiling. There was only a speaker.

“Someone here must die. How is irrelevant. The question is who. You must decided in the next 60 seconds or you all die.”


“The clock has started.”

We all looked at each other. Who was going to demand that the other die? The Dali Lama stood there quietly, peacefully. Musk and deGrasse Tyson just stared blankly into the space around them. Was this actually happening? was all their faces said.

“50 seconds.”

deGrasse Tyson spoke up, “Alright. We need to decided. We don’t know that someone will actually die. This could all be a game. So lets decided and see what happens.”

“But how are you going to decide?” Musk argued. “Which of us deserves to die?”

Tyson gave his head a shake and nod. He knew Musk was right. Between the four of us, one was a revered holy man, one an inventor of powerful new technologies, and one an scientist of world renown. And then me.

“40 seconds,” called out the speaker.

As if guided by the same spiritual force, the three of us looked at the Dali Lama. His eyes were closed, head bowed. The peace he was experiencing swept over the room. You could hear him breathing.

“Let the boy decide,” he said.

Tyson and Musk recently agreed. And then looked to me. I was so overwhelmed with shock that I said nothing.

“30 seconds.”

“Well,” Musk questioned, “who is it going to be?”

I looked at the three of them. Three brilliant, powerful men. How was I going to decide which that the would could go without?

But was I going to suggest that I die? Would I really be okay with killing myself? Was that suicide?

“20 seconds.”

“Hurry up, kid!” deGrasse Tyson yelled.

“Fine,” I replied. “Kill the Dali Lama.”


I hung my head, partly in shame, and partly because I wanted to feel that peace the Dali Lama had been spreading before. But it was gone, and I was left with my shame.

“No, Tyson, he’s right.” Musk replied. We all turned to look at him, even the Dali Lama.

“The Dali Lama reincarnates. It’s not like he is the original. There will be another Dali Lama, and another after that.”

A collective sigh filled the air.

“10 seconds.”

“Are you sure that’s what you want kid?”

Great. Because second guessing myself was going to make this better for everyone. Of course I didn’t want to kill the Dali Lama, but what were we going to do?

“Times up.”