In this world, the norm is to be self centered. I'm sure someone will disagree with me and start an argument, but allow me to present my case.
We are born. Everybody shows us affection and kindness. People buy us many different things so that we can be comfortable. From blankets to toys we are given the necessities and more. As we grow, our individuality develops and our likes and dislikes are more clear. Relatives and friends then struggle to meet the demands of your likes and keep you from your dislikes.
We continue to grow up. The rest of the adult life is spent focusing your career and marriage. Within the realm of that life you are again struggling to make things as comfortable for yourself as possible. All this time we are meditating on ourselves. True there are spurts of charity and renunciation in between but that is mostly out duty or trying to prove to yourself and others that you're a good person.
What I am trying to get at is that people deep down truly want to be selfless. The problem is that the world is pushing us towards selfishness. The great souls who have struggled on the path of enlightenment have shown us that we must go against this world. Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha, Lord Chaitanya, and many others have told us that we must go against the world. Jesus has spoken, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. He also told us to be in the world but not of the world.
We should understand that anybody who is sincerely seeking love of God, is not in this world. They are jiva-mukta, or liberated even in this life. They are not on the material plain. Therefore they are not affected by the propaganda of selfishness. Because they have love, real love, not lust, they have compassion and empathy.
Something that came to mind is that people want to be compassionate and loving but want to leave God out of the equation. They want Jesus without the Father, or Buddha without Nirvana. If you think of the people who are the kindest and most gentle in the world what automatically comes to mind? Those who are religious or spiritual. Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama, or Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.; all these great souls are God Loving.
The sneaky propaganda now is that we can be atheistic and yet have the qualities of saints. Rather, if we do not realize that everything is meant for Krishna's service, then we will exploit whatever resources we have. Even renunciation cannot fully purify the heart, please read Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter 5, Text 2 purport. If we think we can renounce anything that is illusion because everything is actually God's property.
So by surrendering unto the Lord and His servants we are able to cleanse the heart from selfishness. But to do so we must go against the grain.