Charlie Harary: Sandy Brought Her A Game, Now It’s Time to Bring Ours

Tuesday, October 30, 2012. 12:00 am EST

Hello, 911?”

“Yes. How can we help?”

Charlie Harary, clinical professor of management and entrepreneurship at Sy Syms.

“There is water outside my house and it is rising fast. It’s already on my first step and I see water bubbling in the middle of the street. I’m not sure what’s happening but I’m scared that my house may fill up with water in the next few hours.”

“Sir, we are looking at your location and our emergency personnel can’t make it down your block.”

“But I have five little children here? What am I supposed to do?”

“We’re sorry sir. We can’t help you. Good luck.”


There I was, staring out my bedroom window with the phone at my ear as water was rushing up my front steps. In the other room, my wife and five children were sound asleep. I stood there overwhelmed. I turned to God and asked for help. Then I ran down the stairs.

Welcome to Hurricane Sandy, one of the worst hurricanes to hit the Northeast, ever. Hundreds injured, over 70 dead. Thousands without homes. Millions without power.

As I sit here in Sandy’s aftermath, sirens screaming in the background and debris in front my house, I keep thinking of one maxim: “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Judging by Sandy’s onslaught, there is some serious strength waiting for us. Sandy brought her A game, now it’s time to bring ours.

So I decided to make few resolutions.

#1: Be Happy with Normal

I remember when I was 16 years old. I was home on Saturday night with nothing to do, moping around, feeling sorry for myself when my grandparents came over.

“What’s the matter?” my grandmother asked.

“I’m having a bad night, my plans unraveled and I have nothing to do,” I kvetched.

My grandmother, who at my age was in Auschwitz, commented, “Boy, what I would have given to have nothing to do when I was your age.”

Enough said. Checkmate. Perspective gained.

It’s amazing how when our lives are functionally normally, we focus on what we are missing. We run through our days barely paying attention to all the things we have like health, shelter, family, electricity and heat. We are too busy coming and going, buzzing and beeping, thinking and worrying about what more we can get, to slow down and see what we already have. Read full article at

The author, Charlie Harary, is a clinical professor of management and entrepreneurship at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business and is a senior lecturer for the Orthodox Union, Aish Hatorah and NCSY. The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to Yeshiva University.