Do Acker, Langley qualify as contrarians? | Letter

Mercer Island’s mayors have signaled that Joy Langley will be the best candidate for Mercer Island. Not knowing either Joy Langley nor Tom Acker, I have a description in mind.

How about an amicable, well-informed contrarian? He or she would be comfortable going against the grain. Having developed ideas of their own, they would be comfortable flouting accepted norms.

They may have been burned by conventional norms: “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” They are often quite smart and have a strong sense of certainty that emboldens them. They do not feel compelled to conform to social and political expectations.

Because of their unconventional outlook, contrarians make important creative contributions. Steve Jobs was an exemplar. He revolutionized computing by rejecting the status quo. Creative ideas usually get a weak reception, at least initially.

Contrarians give their lives to attempting to change the way things are to the way they think they ought to be. They may flout the social graces, and others may consider them crotchety.

I hope Ms. Langley and Mr. Acker qualify as contrarians.

Cyril Baumgartner

Mercer Island

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