We, as a race, have lost the ability to manage simple human connections with people who don't answer definitions that have been imposed upon us throughout our upbringing; our family, teachers and friends have forced them upon us; TV, newspapers and movies have worked to widen that gap. It is all rooted in our inability to feel empathy toward people who, whether implicitly or explicitly, don’t belong to our world.
You Can’t Fake Empathy
Take for instance a homeless person. You certainly pity him and know that his life is tough, but are you able to really feel for him as an individual, not as a phenomenon? Sure you can’t, and perhaps that's a good thing because you can't carry the trouble of all homeless people on your shoulders as your personal burden. Some doctors develop that detachment toward their patients, and so do undertakers. Otherwise, they will tell you, they would never be able to go on doing their job day in and day out. But the difference between a good doctor and a skilled one, is that the good doctor feels enough empathy for his patient and lowers his own protective shield for a moment, at the right time, to let his patient feel that he is more than a mere "case" to him. Being polite to a patient or his family is often not enough and you can't fake empathy; not with people in real distress.