Being a person who was brought up on British comedy, I’m likely to say words like, “bollocks”, “bugger”, and most importantly for this post, “pansy.”
The original context of the word as I know it is: “Don’t be a pansy.”
Don’t be a wuss. Don’t be a coward. Don’t be a little noodle-armed sissy-man. There are dozens of ways to say this, but for whatever reason, “pansy” was always my favorite pejorative for those who copped out of tough situations.
As I was walking to a client presentation, I came across a single pansy growing out of a crack in the sidewalk. It was a perfect little flower; purple and white and beautiful, rising up from the concrete like an idealized little microcosm of nature triumphing over industry. He was strong and bold. He was the least “pansy” pansy I’ve ever seen.
I had one of those moments where everything I knew seemed wrong. Here was this dainty little flower, not giving a shit and kicking ass. He has almost no room to grow, but did that stop him? Nope. He had so few nutrients in that dirty sidewalk crack, but did that stop him from turning into a vividly colorful flower. Not at all. Did he get trampled on by all sorts of inconsiderate passers-by? No, he stood up tall.
He is a perfect example of something making the best of a shitty situation.
You think you’ve got it rough? That the whole world likes to kick you in your most tender and private parts, just when you had recovered from having those same parts kicked just recently? You think you’ve got it harder than anyone – nay anything – on this planet?
Next time you think like that, think of this pansy instead. Life dealt him a Jack-Two, off-suit. But he didn’t fold, no, he went all in. His little seed settled into the crevice that would become his world, and he embraced it for all its paven glory. He said, “eff you world, this is my life and I’m gonna grow and live and be so cool that random people will stop and take pictures of how awesome I am.”
And he did. See for yourself: