Slayers of Boogey Men, pt.1
There are sharks out there that are big enough to eat a person and do. But standing, dry, in the Long Beach aquarium looking at them on the other side of an inch thick sheet of acrylic, there is no danger of being eaten.
And while things like being the first one naked in a hot tub or leading the charge to Vegas may not be physically dangerous like hand-thrown arcs of lightening or 500 pound sea predators or even the bear that might be in the dark cave our ancestors faced, it's still dangerous in a certain scope. It's socially dangerous with the threat of embarrassment or hurt feelings. It's morally or personally dangerous if we end up doing something that we regret just because that's not how we see ourselves. And it's simply unknown and the unknown is dangerous and a threat.
But the Guide can shine light in the dark. The Raconteur has been there. They can show us that there are no monsters and that we will come out the other side unscathed. Their confidence proves it.
And we do know at different higher levels of our consciousness that these fears are not real. We can logic out that there is no threat. But our brains are only partially logical (some of us more than others, some of us less). Partially our actions and understanding of the world around us is dictated by the lower consciousness, the automated systems that made us avoid places where bears were before we were either old enough or developed enough to have an idea of what a bear was and where it normally makes its den. We couldn't learn those lessons from making the mistakes. And thus was born danger without a face. Threats that are real even though there is no evidence of them and no first-hand experience and even parts of you that are saying they aren't real-- oh no, they are very real, just ask any 4 year old with a poorly latched closet door.
But the Guide and the Raconteur and even in his own flailing way, the Trickster, has tamed that. He has either been freed from the doubt about what is out there with his experience and knowledge, or he has tamed that unconscious beast, doubt; both of these are admirable.
So in the end it's not the specifics or the résumé that make those people amazing. It's not that they've faced down tigers, sailed with Somali pirates or earned that eye-patch. It's that they have the amazing confidence to break up all those phantom dangers that we still feed and can't seem to shake. We still have havens of the unknown, even after we've figured out that the only thing in the blackened closets and impenetrable under-beds is stuff we need to throw out. But whether through a divine wisdom, long trips away from our boring little worlds or simply being too stupid to know better, these people can do what we want to do and on some levels know we can do very easily: slay the Boogey Man with nothing more then a bit of confidence.