Church of the Rock Homer Pastor Aaron Weisser, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy Aaron Weisser)

Church of the Rock Homer Pastor Aaron Weisser, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy Aaron Weisser)

Point of View: Opportunities for kindness and caring have never been as ripe

It has been truly amazing to see so many people from our community rally to support each other.

On March 18 I had lunch at Fat Olives. It was just hours before they shut down. My server, a gal who has served me lunch there many times, is really good at her job. That Wednesday she was her usual smiling self. I asked her how her life was going to be impacted by our new reality. Her 6-year-old is out of school, and she was likely out of work. That’s really lame. I gave her a big tip.

The opportunities for kindness and benevolence are rarely as ripe and plentiful as they are right now — literally everywhere you look. And there are three easy ways to miss out.

Method No. 1: Keep busy yelling “Oh the humanity!” Focus on lamenting the awfulness of the human race. Of course, the reasons aren’t good ones. For example, you see empty shelves at the grocery store and conclude that society has descended into frenzied self-preservation and hysteria. And you start lecturing the world about panic buying.

But retailers plan with razor sharp predictions of normal consumption rates and stock accordingly. Even slight unpredicted changes in demand will temporarily deplete supply.

The operating assumption is that my purchases are reasonable, but the purchases of others are excessive. Yes, a few people probably bought more than they need. Instead of bemoaning humanity, ask someone you know or someone you meet “What are you lacking?” and if you have it, offer it to them.

Method No. 2: Stay busy griping about stupid leaders. I should warn you: those who carry contempt are never the heroes of the story. You are certainly entitled to have an opinion. You are certainly allowed to believe that the experts are wrong. Maybe they’re not taking it seriously enough. Maybe they have gone way too far. Maybe your read on the medical, political, and economic evidence is precisely correct and exactly what the world needs.

But you can be correct and wrong at the same time. Disdain doesn’t help. Contempt doesn’t help. Verbally trashing on powerful decision makers doesn’t help. If you carry contempt, people with real needs will avoid you like the virus. It’s seeping into your conversations like a foul stench.

Your opinions, when solicited, are better presented with humility and grace. If you don’t have that to offer, maybe keep your sociopolitical expertise to yourself and instead ask the person standing right in front of you “How are you being affected by decisions that are made, and how can I help you?”

Method No. 3: Stay busy touting your own right responses. I love that we all respond differently and yet we are all exercising exactly the right amount of caution, the right amount of faith, the perfect amount of concern. We are not too worried and not too casual. It’s those other people that are overreacting. It’s those other people that are not taking this seriously enough.

You are right. Other’s will respond poorly. But how will you respond to them? Instead of focusing on the legitimacy of your own responses, call someone up and ask “How are you doing?” Let them know, “We are in this together and I’m here for you.” Stand in the gap.

In short, less talking, more listening. Fewer opinions, more questions. Brief discussion, bold action. Be the solution.

So many in our little hamlet get it. It has been truly amazing to see so many people from so many parts of our community rally to support each other. I know The Homer Foundation is making a difference by channeling your generosity to meet needs. That’s the Homer I know and love. Don’t miss out.

For our part, on March 27 we launched the I LOVE HOMER Relief Fund with an initial allocation of $25,000 for local relief. The fund is now over $60,000 and is already meeting local needs. To see the many ways you or someone you know can benefit from this fund, go to

We’ve done our best to balance due diligence with minimal bureaucracy so that help is available quickly. You can help us meet needs by spreading the word.

In this with you,

Aaron Richard Weisser, Ph.D.

Aaron Richard Weisser is the Pastor of Church on the Rock Homer and has a Doctor of Philosophy.

More in Opinion

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines

The COVID vaccines remain our strongest tool in combating the pandemic and helping us return to our lives and the things we love and cherish.

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: All votes matter

In the beginning, only property-holding white men could vote.

Cristen San Roman. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Is management of Cook Inlet catered to special interest groups?

If these fish are so at risk, why is BOEM able to move forward with lease sale 258?

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Grateful for the hidden ‘good’

Gratitude: Noun The state of being grateful; thankfulness. The state or quality… Continue reading

Homer High School Principal Douglas Waclawski. (Photo provided)
Point of View: What is Homer High School about?

What I consider Homer High’s strength is that we are a place for learning.

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. (courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Invent your future at UAA

At UAA we’re providing the tools to help students of all ages and skills chart a new course forward.

A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Alaska Voices: Vaccination is the still best protection from COVID-19

The Alaska State Medical Association encourages you to protect yourselves and your community from preventable illness by getting recommended vaccines.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
The sad diminishment of Rep. Don Young

Young seems afraid to demand his party leader defend the dignity of the institution he loves.

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Alaska Voices: Restore our strong campaign donation limits

Without campaign spending limits, the ideal of one person, one vote is no longer really true.

The Final Redistricting Map approved for the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna area is seen on Nov. 9, 2021. (Map via
Alaska Voices: The Alaska Redistricting Board’s last-minute gerrymandering failed Alaska

Our Constitution outlines rules for a redistricting process designed to uphold public trust.

This photo shows the trans-Alaska pipeline and pump station north of Fairbanks. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
Alaska Voices: The permanent fund has been taking care of Alaskans for 45 years

It’s the largest sovereign wealth fund in the nation, the pride of Alaska and this month we celebrate its 45th anniversary.

Dr. Tom Hennessy, MD, MPH (Courtesy)
Voices of the Peninsula: Don’t take medical advice from politicians, athletes or social media

Evidence leads to consensus among medical doctors: Vaccines are the best way to prevent infection.