Maybe 50 years ago, I read a book called Hanta Yo, a piece of historical fiction about Native Americans. In the story the chief of the tribe was grooming his son to eventually be the chief himself. But it was not totally working. This young man had not yet found within himself the life force to truly be a leader: the courage was not quite there, the resolve, the determination, the ferocity necessary for the job.
One day this young man was riding on his own about a mile from the camp when he saw ten enemy raiders riding hard towards the camp. He hesitated only for moments before he charged the ten braves as fast as he could – screaming as he rode across the plain “Hanta yo! Hanta yo!” which means “Get out of the way!!”
The enemy raiders were totally perplexed. What ever did this solo brave think he was going to do against the ten of them? What did he know that they didn’t know? Either he was totally crazy and thus capable of inflicting great harm before being taken down – or he had some force behind him that they had no way of understanding. They fled.
The young man never quite understood what had clicked in him in that moment, but understanding was not important, did not make any difference. He was changed: he was a new man. He never went back.
I read that book probably 50 years ago, but that image of the young man on fire knowing that there was no way to stop him, has always stuck with me. It is as vivid for me now as it was then and I know now why it has stuck.
I have, over the last four months had many many of my own personal “Hanta yo!” experiences.