Letter: Grant Johnson is a very rich man
"No man becomes rich unless he enriches others." ~ Andrew Carnegie??
If you believe Andrew Carnegie's statement, then Grant Johnson is a very rich man.
His wealth was on full display over the weekend as he was inducted into the University of Minnesota Athletic Hall of Fame (The M Club).
The humble, 92-year-old man from Two Harbors, graciously accepted his honor as he'd done with all great moments in his life -- by sharing the wealth through his remarkable knack for engaging and enriching those in his presence.??
From the two standing ovations at the official awards ceremony to the cheering half-time crowd at the Gopher's football game, he easily attracted new admirers, much to his own surprise.
When asked about his favorite part of the weekend, he answered in typical Grant fashion, "Well, for gosh sakes, I'd say it was all the people who I didn't even know who made it a point to come up and talk to me."??
Family and friends who know Grant weren't surprised by the overwhelming attention and admiration he garnered.
His insatiable need to actively interact with and genuinely learn from those around him is infectious.
He has a wealth of knowledge, experience and memories to share, and still actively seeks to increase and diversify his "assets."??
In delivering his acceptance speech, he engaged the crowd with his humor and poise as he shared stories of his days at the university.
The crowd rewarded his efforts with a standing ovation and at subsequent events throughout the weekend various individuals - including many young college students -- approached him at random to express their admiration.?
As the eldest grandchild, I've spent 34 years interacting with my grandfather. I have so many beloved personal memories from him dressing up as Santa to his bottomless pockets of candy to his sharply arched eyebrow and quick grin to his infamous crossword addiction.??
Over the years I've also come to admire his passion for people, education and philanthropy. He has enriched many lives by actively supporting individuals in their pursuit of educational goals.
To this day he still writes recommendation letters, supports educational initiatives and receives communications from former students who are thankful for his place in their lives.??
While the M Club honored my grandfather for his athletic contributions to the university, his family, friends and new admirers honored him for his altruistic and enriching spirit.
He is an exceptional role model and a testament to the belief that hard-work and dedication lead to an abundant life.??
When I asked my grandfather why he chose education as his profession he admitted, "It was something I always had a passion for and knew I wanted to do."
Then he grinned, arched his eyebrow and facetiously quipped, "But ya know, I sometimes think I might have been wise to go into business for a bit and make a few million."??
There's no need to tell him what he already knows, but for the record, my grandfather is an extremely rich man who's most certainly enriched the lives of many extremely grateful individuals.
For some of those individuals, they are lucky enough to call him family. --