Today I was in Indiana running in home interviews for a client looking to get a little close to their core consumers. I had two distinct pleasures during this experience; one of my consumers was a HUGE U2 fan (her license plate was RATLNHUM) and the client I was traveling with was from Honduras. What do these two facts have in common? Read on and find out:

My client from Honduras told me stories of how common kidnapping is in her country. People from wealthy families are often kidnapped for ransom money that, once paid, almost always guarantees the release of a family’s loved one. I say almost because some families have paid kidnapper ransom money only to find that their loved one has been murdered. Families have gotten smart to this and always ask to speak with their loved one while negotiating with kidnapers to make sure that their loved one is still alive.

Kidnapping is so common in Honduras that my client was taught code words to use should she ever find herself kidnapped. For example, if, during the negotiation, my client said to a hostage negotiator “I have been praying to San Antonio” this means she is somewhere in the north.” If she said “I have been praying to Santa Maria,” this means she was somewhere in the south.

On the latest U2 album, No Line on the Horizon, the second to last Track is entitled Breathe. The Chorus is below:

Every day I,

have to find the courage

to walk down

into the street,

with arms out

gotta’ love you can’t defeat

neither down or out

there’s nothing you have that I need,

I can breath

Breathe now

In America, there are those amongst us who face significant challenges including homelessness, un employment, underemployment, etc. That said, waking up and being able to take a deep breath is truly a gift we take for granted. For most of us, our daily lives do not require vast amounts of courage but for those living in Honduras (or in Morocco where the inspiration for this song came from), daily life is often wrought with fear. Imagine waking down the street in fear of being kidnapped? Imagine being a soldier in Iraq or a passenger on a bus in Tel Aviv wondering if today will be the day you loose your life to a suicide bomber.

In America, life is certainly something we take for granted and this is evident in many places. Most often, the battles we fight are petty and political; we often take for granted the freedom we experience. We rarely stop and give thanks for the simple act of waking up and taking a deep breath without fear. I think I will put that on my list of resolutions, to give thanks just for waking up in the morning.