Contributed by Gillian Hunt, IDT senior teacher
When I first met IDT he was very young, just a wilful toddler, needing lots of guidance and attention as he grew. Russell Withers, who founded IDT, was the Father, and Fran, his wife, said she was IDT’s stepmother.
I always said IDT forced his birth through Russell into the world. After those very early days IDT continued his wilful growing up, disregarding the feelings of all who encountered him, just determinedly using all who were available to ensure his survival. I became a fond aunt of this gifted child, and worked to promote his survival, finding he required fairly high-maintenance, and at the same time was charming and rewarding. Time went on, IDT grew into an adolescent, not difficult and argumentative, but quite single-minded and needing to follow his own path.
There came a time when Russell could no longer look after him, and we all wondered how this would affect his talented offspring. Some of us feared IDT might become lost to the world. I went to my supervisor and cried because I wanted him to survive, and yet I knew I couldn’t single-handedly manage his care. My supervisor wisely said, “Let’s just hand this over to the Universe”.
In 2019 in Auckland NZ, I ran what I thought was the final Advanced Course. At the end, I told the group very sadly that this was probably the last IDT course, and the reaction from that wonderful group was an emphatic ‘No!’. With Fran’s blessing and support a few of us, who had been close to IDT for some time, formed ourselves into a group of IDT’s Custodial Guardians. We proceeded to find ways to still run courses. A couple of Australian IDT-trained teachers had continued with IDT, and were running courses and peer groups. They, and the still-operating NZ IDT-trained teachers set about becoming independently operating teachers. A website was created by a committed teacher and continues to operate very successfully as a hub and focus. During covid lockdown I had the time and space to develop my own better connections and processes to teach courses. Other NZ teachers started offering a range of courses once more, and NZ again became a lively IDT arena.
IDT had grown up, becoming more mature, steadier, now a young adult. I had a lot to do with this growing person, and observed that he operated out of honesty and integrity. I saw some try to jump on the business possibilities, perhaps hoping to make a quickly- generated good living from IDT, or exploit the excitement he could create. It seemed however, that IDT only rewarded those who loved him, and approached him with thoughtful values and sincerity.
I don’t fear IDT will fade away. I believe now that he’s out in the world, and has been nurtured in his more turbulent growing years, that he will continue to push his way into further flourishing. I enjoy witnessing this, and participating in the delight he creates.