Names become popular in cycles. It's rare to see a Betty or a Lucille on anyone younger than 40; likewise, it's uncommon to see Jason on anyone older than 40.

I was fortunate enough to be in one of the first cycles of use for "Jason" this time around. The cycle started in the late 60's, and went through the late 70's. It was uncommon for there to be another Jason in the same class as me, but it happened occasionally, and it was much more common for classes two or three years behind me.

Jason is a complex name. It has several different meanings, depending on what language derivation you choose to use. The first and most common is its Latin definition: "Son of James." My father is named James, but I'm not certain that they knew this meaning when they named me. According to my mother, I was nearly named Justin, but they both took one look at me, and said, "He's Jason."

I prefer the Greek and Biblical derivations which mean the same thing: "Healer." I've always preferred to fix things to breaking them, and have always hated getting in fights. Strangely, I've never suffered any injury greater than a shallow cut or abrasion.

Last but not least is the Hebrew derivation: "Savior." I don't view myself as any kind of a savior, personally, but I'm certainly not the person to make that sort of judgement. Time will tell... who knows? Maybe I'll grow into this one.

There are very few famous people named Jason; it was difficult for me to find more than a small handful. Perhaps in another 20 years there will be a lot of them. Here are a few:

  • Jason Voorhees (Fictional character) This one used to piss me off, as I had to put up with fellow students in grade school going, "CH-CH-CH-ah-ah-ah," at me, and I didn't want to be associated with a mass murderer.
  • Jason Robards (Actor) He's one of the oldest Jasons I know of, and a damned fine actor, starring in far too many things to list here.
  • Jason Priestley (Actor) Best known for his role on Beverly Hills 90210, I've made a point of ignoring him.
  • Jason Alexander (Actor) Best known for his role on Seinfeld, he's one hell of a funny guy when he puts his mind to it.
  • Jason Kidd (Athlete) Best known for his quote upon being drafted to the Dallas Mavericks: "We're going to turn this team around 360 degrees." I'm almost ashamed to share a name with him.
In our society, your given name is something you can take or leave, as you choose. I'm proud to keep the name my parents chose for me.