My husband and I had a conversation yesterday while we were out trail running. We had stumbled across (yet another) deer carcass that had clearly been dumped by a hunter, which was being feasted on by a large number of Ravens and Crows. On the top of one dead tree perched our family totem - the Eagle. We both felt pretty disgusted that someone would feel the need to dump a carcass, and my husband asked why they wouldn't take it to the dump for disposal. The answer was simple: Whoever dumped it was most likely hunting illegally.
Anyhow, this all led to a conversation about whether or not people who blatantly avoid rules of society have a conscience or not. I personally believe that every person in this world does have a conscience, and is, deep within their core, intrinsically Good. We are all born knowing the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. People who seemingly have no conscience actually DO have a moment when they feel that tiny nagging voice, reminding them that what they're about to do is not such a good idea. What has happened to them is that they have spent so much time pushing down the reminders, setting aside their worth and value in exchange for instant gratification, that the voice gets smaller and smaller. It is still talking, but it's very difficult to hear.
I believe that every moment is a choice. You have a choice to be happy when you wake up in the morning. You have a choice to drive safely. You have a choice to be considerate of others, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't like them! I also believe that every person has the ability to start making positive choices at any given time. The potential for peace, love and joy is with every one of us, all the time, no exceptions. That includes criminals.
Every breath presents us with a new opportunity to live a connected life, to be present, to be mindful, to behave. That's why I love yoga so much. Each and every time you breathe, there is a pause between the breaths. Focus on that pause. Tap into the greater part of your existence, because that's where you'll find it. You will know it when you find it because it will be deafeningly silent.
You are Intrinsically Good.