Question: If human beings are inherently selfless and kind, how do we have entire institutions that act the opposite in culture and practice?
Answer: The reason is that the first part of your statement is not true. We are not inherently selfless and kind, but we are inherently self-serving, self-justifying, egocentric and subjective.
Then of course we could ask, how is it possible that we see entire institutions, many people acting seemingly kindly, lovingly towards others?!
The keyword here is “acting”. It actually does not matter how we act, what we do. What matters is our intentions behind the action, since on a deeper layer – where the true forces in reality operate – it is actually the intentions which will determine the final result, consequence of our actions.
And in terms of intentions, by our original program we can act only for ourselves. With our original 100% selfish “pleasure/pain” software we simply cannot do anything that is not for our own sake – even if externally we seem to be doing something good to others.
Thus in order to become capable of truly become selfless and kind, first of all we need to learn how to perceive ourselves on the intention level, and then we need the appropriate, purposeful and practical method which can help us changing our intentions from selfish, egoistic to selfless, altruistic.