I think you have to kind of be conservative with your expectations. Especially when dealing with complete strangers. Sometimes there's really no malice intended when someone doesn't seem to empathize with you or whomever you think they should empathize with. Sometimes it's hard to empathize with things that are kind of removed from your personal life experience.
Popular culture tends to kind of inflate people's expectations to unrealistic levels, whereas in the real world (sometimes) people will walk right by someone who is dying without giving them a look.