Oh, Pinions.

March 23, 2012

I do lots of interviews. And one interview I did yesterday has really got me thinking. Like most interviews, they open you up and invite you to share in the moment. For me, each moment is new, and whatever I’ve recently learned or awakened to will likely influence my answer anew. Some interviewers are drudgingly reading a fact sheet hoping I’ll expand upon it. Others want to know WHY I did something, which for me is always the most challenging question. It’s also common for one conversation to transform my opinion on a subject altogether giving me new insights. It is in part thanks to interviews that I journey inward to see how I really feel about an issue as certain questions generate answers I didn’t know were inside of me. In all conversations we get to speak and hear our own thoughts manifest as word, building our world around us through language, adapting and evolving literally as we speak,  and seeing what it is we’re currently made of.

 

In yesterday’s interview with a gay magazine, I was asked my opinion on whether or not label’s are important. Labels as in lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, etc… I don’t think labels are important I said. And I believe they aren’t. Yet, the magazine I was speaking to uses the very same labels in question to draw attention to LGBT issues and culture, creating an invitation for people with those interests to visit and read; which in that case, the label is very helpful.

 

So what is it about labels that are in question? I had more time to think about it after I hung up the phone.

 

I reverted back to high school; the battlefield in word warfare, where I heard all kinds of nastiness about all kinds of people. You brush it off if you can because name-calling is commonplace; but you pray you never end up alone with any of the name callers, as I did in 12th grade, the year I finally got my ass kicked after 4 years of shit stained anticipation.

 

In those suspenseful years I heard racism, sexism, species-ism, slander, insults, and all kinds accusations against every kind of person in school regardless of brains or ability. These awful things were said by kids and adults alike and they aren’t exclusive to where I grew up. I’ve lived many places since then, and I heard bigoted labels dropped everywhere.

 

I realize now it isn’t so much the derogatory name itself that does the harm, but the isolation and separateness that one experiences in being classified as less than. The words “go away” can be just as painful as “you’re a fag” depending on the meaning we attach to it.

 

In our short lives, we strive to find meaning here, and we long to be loved and accepted while we’re at it. Therefore, anyone calling us anything other than brother, bro, friend or amigo, is literally cutting us down, sending us to a place of fear, sorrow, and displacement where some might feel they even need to fight back.

 

It is because of separateness that I think labels should only be used for food and health products and/or recording artists. :)

 

I can understand having a label that describes your job, or your practices, or even your astrological sign, but anything related to your natural-born divine Self – such as age, race, gender, sexual preference, lefty or righty, etc – should be excluded and considered irrelevant.

 

Remember those signs “you must be at least this tall to ride?” Imagine living a life where those signs were on everything. Men only. Whites only. Christians only. Muslims only. Marriage is Man & Woman only.

 

Yuck. All those signs once existed. And some still do.

 

You get the picture.

 

Labels separate us; and in that they keep us in fear – afraid that someday we could be called a name too, or disliked, or not accepted, and/or treated unfairly.

 

In some countries, having a certain label attached to you can get you killed.

 

Labels are a part of the force that is of human’s great waste of energy program. Rather than bravely letting go, accepting all as it is, and falling into love on the path of least resistance, our labels are a weird effort to try and control the planet and classify things again and again… Is this black or is this white? It’s neither. It’s moot.  We’re all equal parts of that One massive cosmic organism to begin (and end) with.

 

Where do I begin and end? To be or not to be. That is the question.

 

I do lots of interviews, and I’m starting to wonder if I might someday explain myself away in all this talk rather than simply be. I show up and do the interviews because I’m invited and because I said I would! I enjoy being with people and I especially enjoy singing my songs and sharing my hobbies and general interests and so on. It’s that simple. And I can see that might show up to some as just a rolling ticker tape of opinions, loose talk, broken promises, or even idiocracy; especially when one changes one’s opinion or posture. People don’t like my hair. Some people don’t like my choices or my actions or my attitudes. Some people don’t agree with my philosophies or my mannerisms. And that’s fine. I know I’m not final. My opinion is a fluctuating sum of thoughts floating somewhere in the lower third of 7 billion. And that’s just the humans.

 

I heard an interesting thought today that suggested every organism thinks it’s  human. Implying everything is having its own experience as if It is the center of the universe. and in essence, each IS the very center.

 

BTW, I would like to clear something up about my friend, the talented Ms Tristan Prettyman, with whom I stood beside in protest against the inequality of Proposition 8. She is still very much a stand for equality even though our engagement (and protest) was called off. That wasn’t made clear in a recent article published in Instinct Magazine. I have since apologized to her for how my words landed in that interview. And I apologize to you too in case you were misled or disrespected by any of my comments. My decision to leave that partnership was personal to me, and I never should have connected our break-up to the frustration we experienced in the protest. TP continues to inspire me to look deeply at my life in effort to improve it and enjoy it. I love and respect her dearly and am truly grateful for her unconditional love and forgiveness. Thank you friend. And thank YOU friend.

 

I’ve revealed as many mistakes as I have victories, spending much of the last 10 years sharing lyrics, blogs, and my answers to the ordinary questions in life. And it isn’t easy being judged, labeled, criticized, or even applauded at times, because life moves so fast. An awkward moment is over before you can fix it, just as a grand moment is over before you can retire in it.

 

This life, this infinite moment, this WTF and holy shit is a series of beautiful accidents, far out explosions and small victories that led us to this divine expression of what we call whatever we call this. and who knows where we’re going, or how many of us will be hurt or die along the way.

 

Oh wait, all of us will get hurt and all of us will die. Never mind.

 

Therefore, let’s take down the signs and let everyone enjoy the ride.

COMMENTS (29)
  • Avatar of MillieD
    MillieD said ...

    Thank You.

  • Avatar of lovePEAR
    lovePEAR said ...

    Oh Pine nuts!!! ( pinions which sounds like pignons in french pretty much… ;)
    Oh Pine nuts!!! You’re SO DAMN RIGHT!!! :) WTF holy shmook fear based words suck the love out of life and there’s enough of that!!!

    “The words “go away” can be just as painful as “you’re a fag” depending on the meaning we attach to it.
    In our short lives, we strive to find meaning here, and we long to be loved and accepted while we’re at it. Therefore, anyone calling us anything other than brother, bro, friend or amigo, is literally cutting us down, sending us to a place of fear, sorrow, and displacement where some might feel they even need to fight back.
    It is because of separateness that I think labels should only be used for food and health products and/or recording artists.” you said, you fckn did it J ! ;)

    I think we can all say that at one point we’ve experienced all that: the labelled calling names and the angry hating go away words… actually I might even think that the labels are not the worst because they’re just words. we put the meaning in it ! Let’s wish that all realize the powerful powers of words and the energy their filled with. intention .Evolution .trust.Love . POSITIVE VIBRATION :) Let’s keep it UP!! fill your words with Love All!
    Jason Mraz you are a beautiful cell ( with beautiful hair )of our beautiful body! One Love .

    It’s what we put in our words that really matters and what we’re making that mean, to me. but is it possible to realize that in just one life…?

  • Avatar of costellocrew5
    costellocrew5 said ...

    Thanks for the post – I always enjoy chewing on your thoughts. Labels (and interviews)are a tricky thing! My thoughts tonight are on the benefits of labels – after all, our own names are labels, identifying who is who and sometimes who goes with who. It’s pretty hard to imagine how we would function without identifying labels. A basic human need is to be socially connected to others and labels facilitate those good connections. E.g. I’m a gardener, I’m a movie-buff, I’m a surfer, I’m a vegan, etc. Unfortunately, like most things, there are the cons. The cons (and pain) that labels can cause are as you stated – to think one word can cause someone to give up is a tragedy. If people loved themselves enough, hurtful words would not penetrate.

    Seems like it is the label appliers that are the problem. Saying “Fred is gay” isn’t usually hurtful if Fred typically refers to himself as gay. Labels hurt and labels help. I guess the healthiest way to use labels is to let each individual label themselves the way they want, and to stop labeling others without permission. I work with parents who often have children with labels/disabilities and I wait for them to use a label, before I feel free to refer to their child’s condition. The label does help me to understand their special need. In fact, tomorrow night I’m speaking at a support group for parents who have children with ADHD. They are so grateful to have each other – they are OK with the label – it has helped them to connect. I think *most* people use labels for good. Or maybe I surround myself with these kinds of people. Or maybe I’m just an optimist and naive? More labels…. As you well know, Mr. AZ…words are powerful, useful and a tricky business. Keep thinking, talking, sharing, evolving, listening, apologizing (good job), and of course, singing! Best wishes, Jane

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    I admire your will to share your conscious thoughts, knowing there’s always a negative reaction to whatever you may say, share or how you may appear (although this is the reality for us all; yours is shown on a global screen). I dream of a world that mixes what “@sheloveswinter” shared (finding your inner strength and truth) and Jason’s thoughts on labels disappearing. These two beliefs meshed is a possibility world slowly emerging (well at least it was demonstrated on this post).

    The challenge is to try to drop unnecessary/disparaging adjectives for describing another person or the person’s preferences/choices and especially ‘perceived mistakes or great lessons learned.” For example: Think about not using ill words the next time you describe a cute guy/girl vs. an unattractive guy/girl to a friend (you may find yourself tripping on your tongue-you are not alone). How does it feel using the words you chose with your friend vs. you alone in front of a mirror?

    The world can hear perfection in Jason’s songs and sometimes translates it to what he must be. How hard to stand like a statue you never wanted to pose for; and even harder when there is always someone ready to poop on it.

  • Avatar of chefballew
    chefballew said ...

    So insightful. If more people could embrace change then maybe the labels would fall by the wayside. Most people seem to fear change, but change is the most natural thing in the world and through self introspection the changes are for the better, most of the time! Imperfections are what make people beautiful to me.

  • Avatar of handofblood12
    handofblood12 said ...

    I totally agree with you. You’re my hero.
    Love.

  • Avatar of crystale80
    crystale80 said ...

    Hello JASON,i like sharing your thoughts with us and frankly why worry about your hair or mannerisms or whatever else, what you do with your music and what you do with your fondations is exeptional!me is what i remember(and i love your hair)you are loved JASON, what is most important.

  • Avatar of pinkguavajuice

    just thought of sharing…

    Sometimes it’s hard to control how we feel over what’s said or what’s done,
    but it could be harder to control what someone else would say or do.

    Self-pity can become self-destructive.
    It’s just like repeating a sad song over and over again, it makes you even more upset with life. You could have outgrown the emotions but sad songs and self-pity always pull you back into the dark hole.

    Stay safe and be strong. :)

  • Avatar of JaneJohnson
    JaneJohnson said ...

    I think in this day and age people should have the right to choose not only who they will LOVE but who they will marry as well. At the end of the day why should it matter? Why do we think we have the right to judge others?or choose for them?
    We are all human, sometimes we say or do the wrong things, or it just comes out of your mouth the wrong way. It’s when you know you said or did something that hurt someone else’s feelings,you say your sorry. Everyone makes mistakes. Saying sorry means you care and would like to start with a clean slate again. So it’s good that you can right a wrong. T.P sounds like an awesome lady and friend.
    Do you ever sleep? Just joking. My goodness your touring schedule is crazy!! Based on your work ethic and wonderful voice you deserve every success that comes your way.
    Thankyou for sharing your journey’s and your thoughts. Stay well Jason.

  • Avatar of nicolabradley
    nicolabradley said ...

    I entertain the view that we experience many ‘lives’ on this planet and elsewhere in the multiverse. On Earth it’s all about karma, although that may be coming to an end for some souls in 2012. A victim also experiences life as a persecutor, a bigot experiences biogoty and so on. Everything is one big theatre production for us to learn our lessons of the soul. How to live in integrity – to be, feel and act for the highest good of all, which is OUR highest good, as we are all just one entity anyway.

    So I am thankful for the people who are playing the roles of the name-caller, bigot, or persecutor because without them I would not have the opportunity to exercise my integrity and forgiveness muscles. It makes me remember who I REALLY am on the soul level – and dissolves the labels I put on myself. I think about the sacrifice they have made to play those thankless villainous roles in order for me to act out my responses.

    Lately I’ve been doing a lot of redefining myself. It must be the 2012 energies at work. And I thank Mr Mraz for his music which brought me joy at a time I was ready to accept it, and for his musings which gave me the notion that it was not too late for me to pick up a guitar and learn to play myself. And that is bringing me so much joy.

    Perhaps that’s the final lesson for us all. To seek a permanent state of joy despite all problematic situations, events and people that are thrown in our paths.

  • Avatar of Marianne
    Marianne said ...

    Thank you Jason for sharing your thoughts.Thanx for this great journal !!!!! And thank you Riders for your comments….

  • Avatar of mrazfan1031
    mrazfan1031 said ...

    You are amazing and you have kindness through out your soul. Thank you for sharing your words and feelings. It really helps people more than you know. Please take care of yourself . I love you.

    love and peace,

    Linda

    P.S. btw I Love your hair!

  • Avatar of tammy04
    tammy04 said ...

    What a beautiful soul !

  • Avatar of JulianaNikitaPT

    #What Life Is For

    A million stars up in the sky,
    We watch them live, we watch them die,
    Now who can tell how this will be?
    Now are we fools when we believe?
    (DavidFonseca)

    Thank YOU for your words Jason! Yes we are, only human!

  • Avatar of FrolleinN
    FrolleinN said ...

    that was some speech, man… i always thank you that you share your point of view. and I would also like to thank you girls for those wise comments before. it is so good to know that there are thinking people on this ship called earth. but probably this is also a label. wise – and the others…

    i guess it is as always: there are good and bad sides to it. labels can be cruel or even deathly. but i could imagine they can also help sometimes, when someone doesn’t know where he/she belongs. to solve the question “who am i?” i suggest everyone invents his own label “100% me”, that should do it ;-)
    my personal label would include some fighty part, i wouldn’t exist if i had not fought from the moment those gametes had merged. and seeing me with this label of a fighter gives me strength for the next time i’ll get hurt.

    oh, and your hair – everyone to his taste! to me, those longer hair look awesome. i’d like to tousle them (right expression?) ;-)

    i just got the idea, that this song “lasse redn” here has just the ticket to the label-theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR17Y6AV_qQ
    they are singing about all the people around labeling their environment just because others don’t act as they are supposed to. btw, the album is called “jazz is anders” (= “jazz is different”, feel free to wordplay with it ;-) )

  • Avatar of ashley
    ashley said ...

    You are beautiful, perfect, & loved. This is one of the greatest things you’ve written. Also, for the record, I love your hair soso much. I’m glad you grew it out.

  • Avatar of pinkguavajuice

    *trusting? with words.
    lol.

    i think it’s fun to have a new hair for a new album. but for your next album, have any kind of hairdo, but pls do not shave your head. haha:P

    kidding. don’t ever regret life for not trying a certain hairdo! LOL.

  • Avatar of pinkguavajuice

    some labels are good to have, it gives us a sense of identity.

    but growing up also taught me that some labels are just temporary, it changes with time or when we move from one group of people to another group.
    they may sound like it’s our identity, but many times, it either gives u false hope or it puts u down.

    we can’t be too trustful with labels. :)

  • Avatar of Madagascar
    Madagascar said ...

    If you’re not God’s creation, then who are you ?
    Jason, you don’t know how cute you are… How perfect you are ! I think any girl by reading your journal or listen to your songs will fall in love. You are what girls really want (may be not your hair, sorry).
    We are so lucky to have someone like you. God must love us so much, we don’t deserve you.

  • Avatar of liupires
    liupires said ...

    Thank you for sharing!!
    May you always be able to share your awesomeness with us!!

    Obrigada!

    Aline

  • Avatar of danilunia
    danilunia said ...

    Hi
    I’m reading your post basicly…just awaken this morning.
    I like to confide to you and to other friends reading that last nite I had a quite shocking dream, and this actually wasn’t the first time, I must say. I’d rather say I had a nightmare.
    I dreamt I was seriously sick and hopelessly aware to be destinated to die soon.
    I guess even some of you has dremt something similar in his life…
    So when my kitten gently woke me up (like every morning uses to) I slowly realized that It was just a bad dream and this is gonna be my usual beautiful off-work saturday…full of funny stuff: bio-breakfast, shopping at the open market, relaxing housekeeping, and..oh..very special thing..flamenco tablao in Milan tonite!! oh wow…it’s gonna be a great saturday! :D
    Can’t express in words, as powerfully as I’d like to do, the joy I experienced going through those few seconds of realization…
    I think it was worth dreaming that bad situation if it than leaded me to enjoy my life (normal, daily life) this way!
    It’s like as if my unconscious decided it was timeto recall me, in such this shocking way, how special my life is. well I must say: Mission succesfully completed! :)
    Thank you nightmare
    Thought All was lost, instead I’ve got everything.
    Good great normal-special saturday Jason, and each of you friends.
    :D
    D.

  • Avatar of MrazGal
    MrazGal said ...

    This entry is all kinds of awesome.

    Always enjoying the ride,
    Jam
    @MrazGal

  • Avatar of Sheloveswinter

    “In our short lives, we strive to find meaning here, and we long to be loved and accepted while we’re at it. Therefore, anyone calling us anything other than brother, bro, friend or amigo, is literally cutting us down, sending us to a place of fear, sorrow, and displacement where some might feel they even need to fight back.”

    They don’t send us to those places Jason. We volunteer to go. We are the ones, who bring those labels to life, in our minds. By believing them. Someone can call you a tree it doesn’t make you a darn tree. Just because someone says it … doesn’t make it so. I’ve lived this one …

    Sometimes we give our power away.

    Labeling happens here on the planet. (Where there are oceans there will be pirates – not sure who said that)

    So protect yourself. People might project their crap/labels on you. I say duck.

    The other powerful option (for the advanced duckers) is to look and see if there is any truth in what they are saying. Takes the wind right out of their sails when you can honestly agree with them.

    I can’t say this will work for every situation …I just know if I’m tired of being a doormat I need to get up off the floor.

  • Avatar of K.T.
    K.T. said ...

    oh, and yes. A Stand For Marriage Equality.

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    J do YOU like your hair? That’s what counts. Now I sound like my mother! I’m glad you did a shout out to TP. Get some sleep friend.

  • Avatar of K.T.
    K.T. said ...

    J,

    Yes, lebels separate us, also I thought some labels bring the comfortable to the people inside, so they would like to tag it on the people who aren’t chosen to their group. I mean, with some labels give the inside people power too.

    Similar story happened to my high school that I don’t belong to any group, I wasn’t labelled, so
    I was isolated which I understood lately that isolation tramsformed into a hard cold core
    in my mind to have a little distance with others now.

    Thanks for your insight and well noted to your BTW. : ) We and I trust you as you are
    the love. You are the light. Sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder how can you really think life
    is wonderful.

    “let’s take down the signs and let everyone enjoy the ride.” I tried to look at the persons and speak with their souls, not the appearances or the “labels” they present.

    Again, thank you.

    Have a good sleep.

    Ride on road,
    KT

  • Avatar of GoodGoodMusic
    GoodGoodMusic said ...

    One more thing… equality… doesn’t that mean men and women are equal in the eyes of the lover? No matter the gender? Roseanne Bar talked about equality once and that is how she came across to me and that is why I totally love her.

  • Avatar of GoodGoodMusic
    GoodGoodMusic said ...

    It is embarassing, ignorant, an very Un-Americanlike. I can talk about my Father all day to my kids.

  • Avatar of GoodGoodMusic
    GoodGoodMusic said ...

    I want the name of the person that made you write this. Let me guess? A Record Label person? Or A Gay Community person? This is getting ridiculous. Someone is about to lose their job. Using you like that. It is pretty gross. I can just see it now, hiring certain people because of certain reasons. It makes me want to throw up. On Gay Stuff, though… the Catholics raised me well. Sluts are the best at OPENNESS. Everything else is somebody else’s business.

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