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 Otsego, MI

Steve Westin

They build the city but not the MEN.

As I begin to read his personal notes I realize he is still teaching me, he is still providing life lessons, he is still here.

Each note brings me back to a place, time, or conversation. Steve wanted his knowledge to live on,   so to honor his wishes we will be posting his personal notes and stories in hopes that it will remind us just how much hope the Teacher had for his students and to remind us that his teachings offered us the opportunity to live harmonious lives that could guide us to become a MAN.

Before you ladies get offended let me share a conversation I had with Steve, this conversation impacted me in a way that literally changed my life.

For several months Steve and I spent every day working on updating some of his class information sheets. I noticed that each day at 1:15pm Steve would stop and go check the mail. Day after day at exactly 1:15 he got up walked down the long driveway to the mailbox as he walked back to the house I could see him sifting through the pile as if he was looking for something. Finally my curiosity took over and I had to ask “are you expecting something”? Well if you know Steve you know if you ask a question you are going to get a lesson.  Steve smiled and said “expecting something will only lead you to disappointment. I am looking for a Man’s Word. After receiving a large check I was told that I would be receiving another one. So it is out of respect that I continue to look for that MAN’s word.”

“Ok” I said, “you have to explain this to me, I just don’t get it.”

Steve looked me in the eye and I noticed his gentle smile was gone, is eyes looked sad and there was a seriousness that was new to me. As he began to talk I experienced truth at its purest state.

Steve began telling me about his friend and how they did business together. He told me that sometimes things don’t work out as you wished and that a separation was the best for everyone. Suddenly he stopped talking. Steve began telling me stories of how he believed that if he could teach others how to grow REAL food they would become profitable in every aspect of their lives.

I remember how he looked as he told me the story, it was like I was in the presence of an Angel, a message of God, a true Master. 

“Deb”, he said, “what would it be worth to you if I could teach you how to grow food that will feed the bodies of humanity? What would it be worth to you if I gave you the secrets that will give you financial freedom? Would you be willing to share or would you be consumed by greed if one day money was no longer an issue? Deb, would you remember the gifts I gave you, would you freely give a little back to the teacher or would you forget me until you need me again?”

Stunned at his questions I quickly said “I don’t understand what you’re asking me”

Steve began telling me about all the people that he helped build successful businesses and how each of them forgot him as soon as they began to profit. He told me how he often took his last dollar to travel to them because IT WAS MORE INPORTANT TO HIM THAT THEY HAD THE ability to feed the world because he could always make his own way. He told me how he offered his support, training, and knowledge and how much pride he took in watching them succeed. He told me how it hurt him to see how they twisted his teachings to avoid giving up even the smallest amount of credit. He told me how greed consumed those he believed to be his closest friends.

Seeing the hurt I asked him “why didn’t you say anything to them, why didn’t you stop helping them, why didn’t you make them sign a contract”

He smiled as he said “it is not my place to create the MAN”  “They can build the cities but not the MEN”

He could tell I was lost by that statement so he began explaining, “you see Deb, a real Man doesn’t need a contract to remind him to do what is right, a real Man knows that the more you have been given the more you have to give back, and a real Man knows that this compensation should continue even after the teacher is gone as a sign of respect to the family. You see Deb, as a Man I work to provide for my family now and in the future, as a teacher I make sure the people I teach are given the tools to provide for their families. If I have to ask them to do this they are not a MAN.  The Man lives in the heart absent of greed. A Man lives in what is right. A MAN never forgets his word. It should be the goal of all to become a MAN. Not lessening with my heart I found myself slightly offended and asked “Ok so what do you mean MAN, umm hello some of us are WOMEN.”

He chuckled and said “I refer to the MAN as the core of or value of Humanity. It takes nothing to be a Human, we are all born human it’s the MAN in the human that takes work to develop.” He grabbed a paper and pencil and said “look here. huMANity, that is what I mean.” Then he wrote the word huMANness… “look up the original meaning of these words when you get some time and you will understand more”… yep I just got a lesson and HOMEWORK.

As I drove home it hit me, what it was worth  to me, what was I willing to commit to, how could I repay the teacher for what I have learned.

I have become a MAN and I will continue his legacy with pride.


Lessons From Steve