Just now I am grateful for the Dalai Lama and his kind way of teaching. If he was strict and hard, I would never have listened to him, and that would have finished my learning almost before it began.
I am also grateful for the existence of the Dalai Lama. In fact, when I saw one of his pictures about two and a half years ago, it reignited my interest in Buddhism and caused a chain of thinking to unfold in my mind which led to me moving overseas and finding a lama to learn from.
I might actually get to see His Holiness next year, but it depends on how certain karmas unfold.