India is a complex culture, indeed.  We experienced everything from extreme poverty to over-the-top opulence, a gulf that has existed for a long, long time.

It became apparent as we expanded our view of how things got accomplished that this is a culture which inherently practices what we in The Power of TED* refer to as “baby steps.”

The way in which traffic undulates organically (some would say chaotically) requires drivers to carefully navigate around one car or motorcycle or bicycle or mini-taxi at a time – often honking their horn to announce their presence and intention of passing.

Vendors (and beggars) on the street or at tourist sites begin by calling “hello,” hoping to get a response or at least eye contact.  Then comes a question intended to engage you (i.e. “Are you from England?”).  Once engaged, they offer to show you their wares (“It costs nothing to look.”).  If you start to look, several options – all of the “finest quality” – are offered at dizzying speeds.  Merchants are masters at selling through baby steps.

We saw artisans and craftsmen (and women) repairing, restoring and recreating ancient and original works.  Art practiced through conscious and careful baby steps.

Just daily living seemed to be a step at a time.  Walking down the street in the sweltering heat was a practice in mindful baby stepping.

There is much to be said for this way of living and creating – whether by necessity or choice.