The Heart of the Matter
September 29, 2014
The Seven Letter Word

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OK. I admit it. I'm a Scrabble addict -- an online Scrabble addict, to be more exact. There, I said it. If there was a Scrabble Anonymous, I'd be in it, confessing to my word-conjuring comrades the rush I feel every time I lay down the perfect 32-point word. Fourteen games. That's how many I have going on at any given moment, some with folks as far away as South Africa. I've played 3,086 games in the past few years and have won 55% of them.

Methinks I've learned more about life from Scrabble than I did from four years of college. Canterbury Tales? The sonnets of William Shakespeare? How to drink oddball vodka concoctions until I fell down? Interesting pastimes, for sure, but nowhere near the insights I've gleaned from the game invented, 76 years ago, by the little known demi-God, Alfred Mosher Butts.

By my own calculations, I've discovered 114 algorithmic variables to the game, subtle principles of play, point and counterpoint that need to be considered before making a move. And while chess is considered, by many, to be the more sophisticated game, there are strategically synaptic moments in Scrabble that reveal chess to be little more than Pin the Tail on the Donkey at a fourth grade birthday party.

Like all great games, works of genius, love affairs, and near death experiences, there is a defining moment, in Scrabble, that reigns supreme -- one existential, moon howling, Job-in-the-belly-of-the-whale moment that, metaphorically speaking, I imagine was at least partially responsible for Van Gogh cutting off his ear.

I'm talking about the appearance of a perfect 7-letter word in one's rack that cannot be placed on the board because THERE IS NO PLACE TO PUT IT!

This word -- this fabulous, pristine, classic, sacred, mellifluous, God given, off-the-grid word DOES NOT FIT. It does not fit anywhere. Either the board is too cluttered, my opponent has sealed off all openings, or it just doesn't connect to anything I see.

It just sits there. Inert. Unmoving. Zen koan-like. The first word of an acceptance speech I will never give.

So there I am, silent and alone with my perfectly crafted 7-letter word, racking what's left of my brain to find it's perfect home, but there is no home, no home on the range, no home on the board, no home away from home, no nothing -- the perfect habitation for my unrequited need to express now bulldozed by the two-dimensional moment I find myself suddenly tourist in.

I see the word, am seized by the word, believe in the word, but I cannot move. I cannot lay it down. I've been checkmated and I'm not even playing chess.

This game I play, you see, is playing me -- the ancient game of trying to express, the game of giving voice to the void, to say something significant before I die. This game that's been played since the beginning of time, long before the first hieroglyph, is a game that will continue being played until the sun burns down. And long after that.

The rules? There is a board, the board of life -- the one you and I must agree on to play. There are pieces. That's you and me and the 7 billion other souls on planet Earth, each with their own unique dialect and favorite name for God. We do our best to play, to lay down our words, our songs, our symphonies, sculptures, moves, causes, works of art, businesses, theories, inventions, hopes and dreams -- praying they will, somehow, connect, somehow have impact, somehow break open the conspiracy of silence long enough for all the forces of goodness and light inside us to express their unspeakable longing to be seen and heard.

And so, good people of cyberspace and time, by the grace of the compassionate Scrabble gods and the extraordinary luxury of having this Huffington Post platform to stretch my invisible wings, I hereby, and with great respect for you and all the logophiles in your life, lay down, in the boardless space below, a small sampling of my still untallied 7-letter words for your diversion and delight. May you find a place to put them. And if you can't or won't, may you savor the fact that they exist at all.

Aeolian. Coaxial. Equinox. Samurai. Qabalah. Jukebox. Dervish. Exotica. Rainbow. Ferocity. Audacity. Tenacity. Kibbitz. Dazzled. Tamales. Jazzier. Oxidize. Moonlit. Courage. Kumquat. Homerun. Darshan. Praises.

Also available to read in the Huffington Post

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2014
PEACECAST: The Sequel!

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GOOD NEWS! PEACECAST CONTINUES! The fabulously successful live stream broadcast (870,00 views!) to support the International Day of Peace last week, is back on line -- with new content. A perfect reminder that PeaceDay is everyday. Tune in, log on, let go...

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2014
The 100 Foot Journey

A gorgeous movie...

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:16 AM | Comments (2)

Derek Jeter Wins the Game!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:56 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2014
PeaceQuotes Now on SlideShare

The PeaceQuotes slideshow is now posted on SlideShare. Simply click the right-pointing triangle (in the circle) below to view the show. Better yet, click the four arrows, bottom right, to view full screen.

Here they are in the Huffington Post
The inspiration to make this slide show
PeaceCast
PeaceCast press release

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2014
The PeaceCast Press Release

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What follows is a recent press release that describes what PeaceCast is all about -- a very successful live stream that has now gotten more than 865,000 views in just four days.

MIAMI, Sept. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/: Most days the media is filled with an endless stream of news and entertainment based on war, crime, disaster and, apparently, insoluble problems. This weekend, one peace group, presents an answer on PeaceCast.tv.

On September 21st, the world celebrates the United Nations International Day of Peace with a 48-hour video marathon featuring some of the planet's leading peacemakers, activists and entertainers, along with hundreds of videos submitted by people all over the globe.

Individuals and more than 60 peace-loving organizations around the globe have joined forces to provide the world with a positive message: Peace is Possible. Peace is Real. Peace is worth it. You are worth it. This is the third annual global webcast for PeaceCast and it can be seen starting Saturday morning, September 20 at 8 am EDT, online at PeaceCast.tv

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During the webcast, former Ambassador John W. McDonald shares the inside story of the historic events that led to Peace Day's creation in 1981 by the UN's first unanimous resolution.

Later, we hear from British actor and filmmaker Jeremy Gilley, the founder of PeaceOneDay. In 2001, he concluded a successful campaign to have the United Nations declare Peace Day a day of global ceasefire and non-violence. During PEACECAST 2014, Gilley holds a provocative conversation on the nature of peace with distinguished peacemaker Prem Rawat, who has traveled the globe for the last fifty years with the message that peace begins with each human being.

One highlight of PEACECAST 2014 is a remarkable and inspiring interview with endurance swimmer Diana Nyad. At age 64, and on her fifth attempt, Nyad became the first person to swim from Havana to Florida without a shark cage. She completed the almost 111-mile record breaking swim in 52 hours and 54 minutes.‚Äč

In another probing interview, Edward James Olmos discloses the secrets of making peace in a life of acting and activism.

Throughout PEACECAST 2014, Latin music artists Fonseca, Diana Fuentes, Marta Gomez, Juanes, Periko and Jessi Leon, Adriana Lucia and Rosana speak out about what peace means to them.

This year's partners include Pathways to Peace, the Culture of Peace Initiative, Peace One Day, the National Peace Academy, the Institute for Multi-track Diplomacy, PeaceNow.org, the Global Peace Film Festival, O.A.R., PeaceBeats, PeaceDay.tv, Playing for Change, 350.org, The Prem Rawat Foundation, Words of Peace Global and Jeff Bridges' No Kid Hungry Campaign.

PEACECAST 2014 features moving performances by Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, O.A.R. and Emmanuel Jal, and the international street musicians of the non-profit Playing for Change organization. The webcast includes spoken word by British rapper/poet Mr. Gee with a poem that tells the truth about hip-hop, the art he loves. A special feature is the release of a new song, Fight for Love, written and performed especially for PeaceCast by Meuku, Kait Olson, and Yung of the Callie Swag District.

Filmmaker Lekha Singh is executive producer of PEACECAST 2014, and presents excerpts of her extraordinary film Beyond Right & Wrong, documenting the triumph of forgiveness in the face of war and atrocity.

PEACECAST.TV is hosted by activist actor Edward James Olmos, Latin music figure Kike Posada, and Premlata Rawat Hudson, senior Creative Producer for Words of Peace Global, which includes 11,000 volunteers throughout the world, working to make peace possible one person at a time. Throughout the webcast, Premlata will take viewers on a virtual world tour, visiting Peace Day celebrations in such far flung locations as Abidjan, Benin, Sri Lanka, France, Australia, Ecuador, and Florida.

Peace advocate, Michael Nouri, has been a spokesman for PeaceCast for the last two years. "Most days, we're bombarded by news of war, conflict and disaster, but to celebrate Peace Day, we're focusing on news of peace," Nouri explains. "You know peace is so much more than the absence of war," Nouri continues. "It's a feeling each of us can experience inside, and people around the globe are putting it into action in their own lives. That's what PeaceCast is all about."

For more information, please visit the website PeaceCast.TV. PeaceCast is supported entirely by voluntary contributions through the website Inspire More.

Media Contact: David Weinberg: 214.282.3924, weinbergd@aol.com

PS: PeaceCast, originally scheduled to live stream for 48 hours, is still available for viewing, due to popular demand. If you want to see what it's all about, click here.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:21 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2014
Honoring David Passes

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We lost a good man a few days ago. Anyone who ever knew David was blessed by his presence. David was a radiant, loving, kind, creative, sweetheart of a human being -- full of grace and giving, devoted through and through to the highest there is on planet Earth. The sparkle in David's eyes said it all. Here was a man who not only found peace, but lived it day by day. In the big picture, David has gone just a few seconds before the rest of us. Godspeed, David! Til we meet again!

If you want to leave a message for David or his family, click here. The funeral is September 24th.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:48 PM | Comments (1)

Peace Day Morphs Into Peace Week!

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GOOD NEWS! The good folks at PeaceCast, due to popular demand, have decided to continue their live stream broadcast for another week! What began as a 48-hour live stream is now a 168-hour live stream. If you are looking for a dose of inspiration, hope, and encouragement this week, PeaceCast is your ticket. More than 608,000 people have already tuned in. Spread the word to your friends.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2014
The Wisdom of Martin Luther King

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This and many other messages of peace are waiting for you to view at PeaceCast -- a totally awesome livestream broadcast with many hours of uplifting content for your delight. Inspired by the International Day of Peace.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2014
The Peace Quotes Video is Live!

Here are 26 inspired quotes on peace by various luminaries around the world. If you are hosting an International Day of Peace event (or know someone who is), feel free to add this 5-minute video to the mix.

If you want to see more uplifting, peace-themed messages, consider tuning into PeaceCast's 48 hour livestream broadcast. Begins at 8:00 am on September 20th (EDT) and ends at 6:00 am on September 22nd (EDT).

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2014
Peace Quotes Show Coming Soon!

Aiming to post the YouTube version of the 5-minute PEACE QUOTES music/slide show here tonight and also in the Huffington Post in two days. If you are organizing any kind of International Peace Day event, consider including it. Inspiring. Non-demominational. Timely.

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Hopefully, this music/slide show will be included in PeaceCast's 48-hour livestream. (Better late than never, eh?)

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2014
UPLIFTING UPDATE: PeaceCast, 9/21

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PeaceCast, an International Day of Peace livestream, is poised and ready to deliver 48-hours of short, inspiring peace-themed videos to your desktop on 9/20 - 9/21 -- the culmination of six-months effort researching and curating great content to delight/inform you and the rest of the known universe.

Here are the particulars:

-- Hosted by WOPG's Premlata Rawat Hudson and Boom Media's Kike Posada.
-- Will feature Activist/Actor Edward James Olmos
-- Special appearances by Prem Rawat, Jeremy Gilley, Former Ambasador John W. MacDonald, and long distance swimmer Diana Nyad.
-- Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Emmanuel Jai, Mr. Gee and Cali Swag District.

Participating Latin Music Artists: Fonseca, Diana Fuentes, Marta Gomez, Juanes, Periko and Jessi Leon, Adriana Lucia, and Rosana.

Visit www.peacecast.tv for a ready-made Facebook post and other information to help promote PEACECAST 2014.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2014
Sample of Peace Quotes Slide Show

Here are six slides from the about-to-be-released 5-minute PEACE QUOTES music/slideshow -- ideal to show at International Peace Day events on 9/21. The format will be YouTube. Will post the show here as soon as it's ready -- and also, hopefully, in the Huffington Post.

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More about the International Day of Peace

58 great quotes on peace

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2014
Calling All Lovers of Peace

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SageCartoon.jpg The International Day of Peace on September 21 is fast approaching. And PEACECAST 2014 is primed to air its 3rd global webcast for peace, a 48-hour video celebration of the inspired efforts of individuals, artists, and groups around the world. If you want to know more about this upcoming webcast, dial into THE PEACECAST PEACECALL conference call on Sunday, September 14th, at 9:00 am PDT, 12 noon EDT.

Call-in information: 1-605-562-3131; access code: 491943

A few of PEACECAST'S global partners will be offering brief comments:

Edward James Olmos, Activist/Actor
Lekha Singh, Filmmaker/(Beyond Right & Wrong)
David Wick, Pathways to Peace
Kelly Egan, Culture of Peace Initiative
Dot Maver, National Peace Academy
Debra Deanne Olson, Director/PeaceNow.com
Premlata Rawat Hudson, Words of Peace Global
Udo Erasmus, Udo's Oils
Ana Calderon, International DJ
Devendra Banhart, Musician and Artist
Theodore Levitt, PeaceCast.tv

If you want PEACECAST 2014 to stream directly on your own website, contact: peacecast.tv@gmail.com for instructions.

If you plan on joining the call, on Sunday, RSVP by emailing "YES" to peacecast.tv@gmail.com.

More info

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2014
JUST RELEASED -- Citizens of the Earth

Powerful, two-minute video, produced by TPRF, that supports the message of the International Day of Peace. If you find it inspiring, please consider forwarding it to friends, family, and neighbors. Good news travels fast (if you help it travel fast).

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2014
The Attitude of Gratitude

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3-minute video of Prem Rawat on gratitude

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2014
Crowdsourcing Peace Experiment

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If you have 20 minutes and any interest in helping promote peace in the world, keep reading.

Stuart Hoffman and yours truly have recently put together a very cool music/slideshow/video featuring inspired quotes on peace from the various luminaries noted below.

We were just about to launch the show when we realized that all of the photos in it are copyrighted and we ran the risk of getting sued if we launched the show. Ouch!

So... we are looking to HEART OF MATTER readers to join in the fun and send us COPYRIGHT FREE photos of the people listed below. Creative Commons is a possible source. There are other sources, as well.

If you can do this research in the next 48 hours and actually locate and download copyright free photos of the luminaries in our show, please email them to me: mitch@ideachampions.com. Also, include the SOURCE of the photo you are sending, so we know, for sure, it is legal to use.

It takes a village... and a few village idiots. Thanks!

THE PHOTOS WE ARE LOOKING FOR

Martin Luther King
Mahatma Gandhi
Mother Teresa
Albert Einstein
Jimi Hendrix
John Lennon
Eleanor Roosevelt
Bertrand Russell
Thich Hnat Han
Pope Francis
Michael Franti
Carlos Santana
Dalai Lama
St. Francis
Helen Keller
Maria Montessori
Thomas Merton
Desmond Tutu
Ralph Waldo Emerson

PS: Our show we be included in Peace Cast's 48 hour livestream if we get the photos in time.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:26 PM | Comments (1)

September 07, 2014
Being Kind

PeaceCast TV

Thanks to Tom Hall for the heads up

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:05 AM | Comments (1)

September 04, 2014
Rock, No Roll

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

Welcome to Mitch Ditkoff's blog about what's really important in this life: Peace, gratitude, love, joy, clarity, and the effort required to wake up and smell the roses. Enjoy!

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