The Future is Local

Is there a difference between globalization and global localization? Yes, there is.

Globalization refers to a “one world” alliance, and it definitely feels like we are becoming that. It sounds so utopian, a state in which everything is perfect: communication, economics, business, technology, government, society, and culture. We have diversity, equity, and inclusion and outcomes are the same for everyone. There is little room for, and tolerance for, differences among people, and more specifically, groups of people. One group receiveth, and from another group something is taken away. Identity is intrinsically linked to the group of which you are part.

Global localization is different. It refers to the organization of clusters of people around the world who think, act and believe similarly. Clusters could be geographic, however, they’re much more likely to be psychographic instead, i.e. what a group of people believes, who they connect with, what they hope for. Global localizationalists do not want the concentration of power with a unified warm-and-fuzzy-sounding theme. They want diversity, equality, and inclusion. They celebrate differences and affirm someone’s value because they are created in the image of God, not because they are part of a group. They believe our ultimate identity is in the uniqueness that God gave us. They believe we’re all connected by that God-given identity, and the future is the connectivity of localized clusters around the globe who give God the glory. The one true, liberating way to achieve global unity is to transform hearts for God, one heart at a time.

In that spirit, I like to make a statement of gratitude. I am grateful for godly men who model what it’s like to be a godly dad. I am grateful for the godly men in my life who have humbly taught me to subordinate my will to the will of my Father in heaven, who gave me my identity. My father, David, is one of those godly men in my life. I love you, dad.

To all fathers, Happy Fathers’ Day.

Affirmation

Kindly let me speak from my heart to yours. You are extraordinary. You are unique. There is no one else on Earth like you. You’re not perfect. No human is. But, that’s ok because perfection is not the baseline. Grace is. The free and unearned favor of God is the benchmark for our lives. All we have to do is accept it as a gift from Him to us.

That said, I know that’s hard to do. Why? Often because our self-image prevents us from accepting the gift. We’ve made so many mistakes. We’ve screwed up so many times. We’ve been hurt too badly. It’s too late. We’re not tall enough. We’re not good looking enough. We don’t like ourselves because we don’t like our flaws. Our mental self-perception is influenced by the words of others as well as our own experiences. But, the only voice that really matters is God’s voice, and He says you are loved and amazing just as you are. He designed you a certain way for a reason. Listening to his affirming voice is the only way to understand what your purpose is.

So easy, yet so hard. There’s so much background noise in the world that His voice is hard to hear. Our attitude follows our action far more than action follows attitude. We can change our mood as a result of how we think and act. Change your habits and behavior and you can change your beliefs. On the other hand, waiting for the mood to strike is ineffective.

I have a challenge for you, if you accept it. Start with this action and commit to making it a daily habit. God says we are to encourage each other every day while it is today (Hebrews 3:13, NCV), and this is my way of attempting to do that.

Write these statements down where you can refer to them every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to bed. Look at them. Say them out loud. Type them in an email or text and send it to yourself.

  • God loves and appreciates me.
  • God made me with certain strengths, and I must play to those strengths. I will renew my mind and think about those strengths.
  • I can make my own unique contribution to the world and my purpose will be found in serving others in God’s name.

Here’s an added bonus. Email me @ coachc@mindwolves.com with the subject “MindWolves Remind,” and I’ll add you to my daily Morning and Evening Ritual reminders where you’ll get a dose of gratitude and positivity. It will complement the reciting of those statements to yourself and may serve as a catalyst for the new habit.

Thank you for reading this, and thank you for allowing me to serve you. I am grateful for you just the way you are.

Time, the Finite Resource

Time is a significant because it is so rare. It is completely irretrievable. You can never repeat it or relive it. There is no such thing as a literal instant replay. That appears only on film. It travels alongside us every day, yet is has eternity wrapped up in it.

Charles R. Swindoll (Living on the Ragged Edge (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1985), page 68)
Father-Daughter Dance: Jarah and Marc Over Time

My daughter and I have attended a Father-Daughter dance for the past 10-years. She and I both cherish these special moments and memories. As she grows older, my awareness also grows that they will eventually stop. As with my death, I am unsure when that will be, however it does not make me sad. Rather, it makes me even more grateful for the moments we have today, plain and simple. With every passing day and every passing year, I simply give thanks to God for the opportunity to spend time with her.

God made us humans plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated. So complicated that we lose sight of the significance of the rarity of time. How has this happened to us? By falling for the oldest trick in the Good Book, which continues to be as effective today as it was back then. Rather than be grateful for what we have, we’re jealous, envious, covetous for what someone else has and we think we deserve. Our egos pursue scheme after scheme to get what is rightfully ours, we think. We fall for the temptation we’re missing out on something. We think we know better.

All this serves to make our lives over-complicated and confusing. Before we know it, time flies by and we can’t get it back.

Kindly join me in getting back to how we’re made, plain and simple. Here are two words that will help us on that journey, forbearance and forgiveness.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines forbearance as refraining from the enforcement of something (such as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due. At a root level, the act of forbearance requires patient self-control, restraint, and tolerance. Ultimately, however, the “something” is still due. Many things throughout our days require forbearance, and it’s a “tool in your human toolbox” that should be frequently used with others. The only way to mature in the awareness, calmness, and kindness to use forbearance, is to allow God’s Spirit to serve you like a gardener caring for a vine. He’ll cut off every branch in you that does not bear fruit, and he’ll prune every branch that does bear fruit so that it will be even more fruitful.

In addition to forbearance, the other tool you’ll need is forgiveness, which is the act of pardoning the debt, right, or obligation. It’s a cousin of forbearance, however, it elevates a different outcome, relinquishing the right to get even. As difficult as it is to learn forbearance, forgiveness is exponentially harder. But it’s worth it if you genuinely want to appreciate the significance of time.

One of my mentors, Mister Fred Rogers, eloquently captured the spirit of forbearance and forgiveness in a song, What do you do with the Mad that you Feel. Here are the lyrics.

What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong…
And nothing you do seems very right?

What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?

It’s great to be able to stop
When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there’s something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
For a girl can be someday a woman
And a boy can be someday a man.

Music and Lyrics by Fred M. Rogers. © McFeely-Rogers Foundation. All Rights Reserved. (“What do you do with the Mad that you Feel” (1997) | Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood)

Pine-Richland Football #NeighborlyLove

This clip is taken from the special meeting of the Pine-Richland school board on June 2, 2021. The meeting was called to vote on the approval of hiring a Head Football Coach for the 2021-22 school year. The speaker is me, Marc Casciani, Treasurer of the board.

Because traditional and social media outlets distort the truth to create fake news, I wanted my message and conversation with the audience to be available for the viewer to form their own opinion. Thank you for watching. The runtime is 5 minutes.

It is my genuine pleasure to serve the PR school district and community. Thank you for allowing me to serve.

Neighborly Love Podcast, Episode 9 – Tom Krahe

Ordinary People. Extraordinary Conversations.

If “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” collided at an intersection, then the Neighborly Love podcast would be the result. It features casual conversations over coffee in a “virtual coffee shop” that lean into the power of empathy. It’s about feeling heard, valued and understood. It’s about serving others. It’s about depositing money in our relational banks.

Neighborly Love is an original podcast by MindWolves. Host Marc Casciani, author of Craft Your Calling and Neighborly Love, interviews ordinary people about their heart for God and serving other people for the greater good.

Episode 9 – Tom Krahe

Marc interviews Tom Krahe, Managing Shareholder at Holsinger in Wexford, PA. Tom answers three thought-provoking questions: (1) Tell me about a time when you did something nice for someone?, (2) What would you do for a living if money weren’t an issue?, and (3) Do you have a dream that involves serving others? Tom shares a new family tradition after watching the movie, The Christmas Project, his heart for serving men to lead their families well, and his dream to grow Manly Camp into an affirming experience that “screams God” for father and sons to lovingly grow their relationship.

Neighborly Love, Episode 9 – Tom Krahe (5-31-21)

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Gossip on Steroids

What is gossip? According to the dictionary, it’s defined as casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. Here’s another definition. Gossip is sharing information with somebody who is not part of the problem or the solution. By these definitions, it seems like all social media is gossip.

Before the Internet, gossip was constrained to mouth-to-ear encounters. People talked about someone behind their back rather than confronting them directly. In this essence, gossip is a form of retaliation. In the short term, the spreader of the gossip may feel better, however, it is incredibly destructive. It destroys relationships, families, friends, businesses, and communities. Rather than spending time on positive things, it channels all energy to the negative. Social media is like gossip on steroids.

Gossip breeds unhealthy conflict, which is different than healthy conflict. Healthy conflict is in the DNA of great teams. It requires vulnerability-based trust and delivers commitment, accountability, and results that benefit the common good. Unhealthy conflict begets discord and dysfunction. Where there is unhealthy conflict, the focus must be on reconciliation, not resolution.

There’s a big difference between these two words. Reconciliation means re-establishing relational harmony. Resolution means solving every problem. In most cases, resolution isn’t practical because you can’t make everyone happy. There are some things we’ll just never agree upon.

But, we can learn to disagree without being disagreeable. We can learn to walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye. We can learn to have loving relationships with our “neighbors,” i.e., everyone else. The future of the human race depends on it.

This is not a matter of the state. It’s not a matter of social justice. It’s a matter of the heart. We can not make peace with other people until we make peace with God, the Great Reconciler.

Commit to renewing your mind to be ever mindful of Him throughout the day. When this becomes a habit, your thoughts will more quickly and regularly turn to God in dependence, thankfulness, and worship. You heart will be transformed to one of reconciliation, not gossip.

There are things that God desires to release through your life that will change the generations that will share your last name. Don’t let gossip kill that promise.

Happy 143 Day!

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Won’t you be my neighbor?

Mister Rogers visited Tatiana Vedeneeva’s Soviet children’s show in 1988. Published March 4, 1988. (Post-Gazette Archives)

The late, great Fred Rogers treated everyone like a neighbor. When Mister Rogers extended the invitation, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” he was genuinely humanizing each of us and modeling the behavior of a loving neighbor.

Today is the 143rd day of the year. The number 143 was Mister Rogers’ favorite number because it symbolizes “I love you”. One letter in “I.” Four letters in “love.” Three letters in “you.”

In the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we celebrate 143 Day as a call to live up to the values Mister Rogers personified. Thank you to Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski for proposing we make 143 Day a national holiday in this Time article. I love that idea and think we should petition the Federal government to do it. We all could benefit from a little Mister Rogers in our lives.

Mister Rogers lived his life free from offense and therefore was freed to love others. He was an ordained minister and honored what scripture taught him, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” He saw past the brokenness to the hearts of those around him. He chose to love the core of the person rather than be intimidated by symptoms of their pain or sin. He saw into people’s hearts and ministered to their hurt. We must follow his example.

This is what Mister Rogers knew about us humans and our tongues:

  • A harsh tongue reveals an angry heart.
  • A negative tongue reveals a fearful heart.
  • A boastful tongue reveals an insecure heart.
  • An overactive tongue reveals an unsettled heart.
  • A judgmental tongue reveals a guilty heart.
  • A critical tongue reveals a bitter heart.

May we all renew our minds and transform our tongues to emulate the heart, wisdom, and kindness of Mister Rogers. Happy 143 Day fellow Pennsylvanians. Let’s hope we’ll be honoring this special day across the entire United States someday soon.

The Good Neighbor

How has the human raced evolved, or perhaps more accurately devolved, into creatures that can’t sit still at a stoplight for one minute without checking their smartphone? Every time I’m stopped, I look around at other drivers to take notice. It makes me so sad to see so many with that addiction.

More than likely, they’re checking a social media feed … Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc … More and more people, day after day, reveal what’s in their hearts by revealing it on social media. They think everything revolves, or should revolve, around them.

The online world is populated with more than a few who disregard one of God’s most basic and serious commandments, “Thou shat not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Many neighbors verbally assault their digital neighbor, tribe against tribe, avatar against avatar, misrepresenting one another, lying about each other, presenting half-truths, and smearing reputations without remorse. Even worse, it’s done with pride and arrogance.

What is a witness? A witness is someone who ought to speak the truth they know. Meaning, they should attest to what they saw and heard. Their words lead to vindication or condemnation.

What is a false witness? A false witness is someone who is a threat to individual lives and the life of the community at large. They stir up animosity and division by lying and perverting justice. A false witness is also someone who refuses to speak about what they know to be true. Being silent when you know the truth is just as bad a telling a lie.

Now, ask yourself a question. How do you talk about your neighbor? Do you publish their faults and mute their virtues? Do you lie and tell half-truths to hurt them? Do you elevate yourself at their expense? The commandment, “Thou shat not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” concerns your name and your neighbor’s name, and the point of it is to not harm theirs unjustly.

Whether or not we’d be better off without social media is not the question. However, one can’t deny it displays the state of our hearts. Based on the evidence, many hearts are envious, bitter, hateful, jealous, or angry.

We need new hearts, new loves, new hopes. We need forgiveness. We need redemption. We need to be people who don’t just avoid falsehood but speak truth and love about our neighbor.

While the world cancels and devours one another by being false witnesses, those who follow God’s commandment will pursue a true justice established by true witnesses. That’s what a good neighbor does.

Would you mind joining me as a good neighbor?

The MindWolves Creed

In daily spiritual battles, there is a special breed of athlete ready to answer God’s call. An ordinary human with an extraordinary desire to do God’s will. Forged by adversity, they stand alongside Jesus’ finest disciples to serve the Holy Spirit and usher in God’s Kingdom on earth. I am that athlete.

My Tetrahedron is a symbol of honor and heritage. It embodies the trust of those I have sworn to mentor and influence in God’s name. By “wearing” the Tetrahedron I accept the responsibility of my calling. It is a privilege that I must earn every day. My loyalty to God, Country, and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my neighbors always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, I value others above myself. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other humans. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

I will lead and be led with humble obedience. Instead of seeking my own way, I will seek God’s way. I will serve God by serving others. I will love others genuinely and consider them better than myself.

I will prayerfully take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish my call. I lead by example in all situations. I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. I will be mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength. I am never out of the fight.

The MindWolves pack demands discipline. We expect innovation. Lives are at stake and depend on us – our technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. Our training is never complete. We train for spiritual warfare and fight in God’s name and for God’s glory. We stand ready to bring the full spectrum of God’s power to bear in order to achieve our calling. The execution of our duties will be swift when required yet guided by these very principles that we serve to defend.

We will not boast in our wisdom, we will not boast in our might, we will not boast in our riches, but we will boast in this, that we understand and know God, and that He is the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness on earth.

In God’s name, we will not fail.

Win Humble

One of my mentors, Seth Godin, said this on a recent blog titled, Compared to what?

Organized sports, particularly for school-age kids, present a real challenge. The results are easily measured and are on just one axis. Points scored. Winning vs. losing.

If we teach a child to identify with the outcomes in this way, we might create arrogance. If you win, after all, you must be better than the others.

This is where the big man on campus comes from, the push for dominance and the brittle self-worth that can lead to bullying.

And of course, it’s not just sports, and it’s not just high school.

But in any scarcity-driven competition, sooner or later, you’re not going to win. You’re not going be state champ, national champ, world champ… Sooner or later, if you’re honest, you’ll need to acknowledge that winning isn’t going to happen.

And then what happens?

If you have a chance to play a game that’s based on scarcity and winner-take-all, perhaps it pays to play a different game instead.

Seth Godin

Well said, Seth. It pays to play a different game instead. In that spirit, I’m launching a new program to play a different game called, Win Humble. What does it mean to win humble? Here are the mission, vision, and values:

Mission

The mission of the Win Humble program is for every athlete to focus on giving their best effort every day. It’s less about the outcome than it is about whether they put in the best effort relative to the team’s potential.

Vision

Win Humble’s vision for every athlete is to use their talents and gifts to serve the team, not themselves. Winning is associated with success, but not wins and losses. Success is peace of mind knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. Win or lose, we do so with humility and gratitude.

Values

  • Start each day with a positive outlook. We have an attitude of gratitude.
  • When something doesn’t go our way, we choose to stay positive. We may not have control over what happens, but we can choose how we react.
  • Learn from losses. We won’t allow ourselves to go into a dark place when things don’t work out. Thinking back on how we felt and what we did on the field is a greater positive than whatever benefits might have come from winning.
  • Be mentally tough. Mental toughness is centered on doing the best we can in the present while believing we can do even better in the future.
  • We are never victims. We gain nothing if we get angry or frustrated. By staying in that place, we will just make things worse. We will get off the X to move forward.

Are you “all in” to Win Humble? I am.

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