This question assumes that people, for the most part, did care for others and now there is not enough evidence to take that concept as a given. I am not prepared to concede that given, but I can leave that argument for another time (or you can draw your own conclusions based on this response).
One interesting thing about principles and rules is that there are always exceptions. Some even argue that the exception proves the rule. Thank God there may be exceptions to the rule I have discovered about caring people. There are some caring people out there; there must be! However, truly it is a rare thing. Often times, we read in the paper where someone did a very giving thing and helped out his fellow man at personal cost or inconvenience. It makes it in the paper or on the television news because it is unusual. If it weren't, it would be commonplace and hardly newsworthy. Because it makes it into the media, we have the reaction of, "see, there ARE good people in the world!" Alas, I must conclude, however, that the exception proves the rule - that rule being: For the most part, people do NOT really care about others.
Sure, people say they care. They may even believe, at some level, that they do care about others. We know, that talk is cheap and only by our actions can we really discover how caring we are. True active care and compassion just doesn't happen with much regularity. It takes a great deal of strength to put stated compassion into action. However, we are not as strong as we think we are. There have been many studies done on this. ABC's Primetime Live and/or 20/20 has shown hidden camera reports how most people ignore or avoid situations where perhaps God or even good morality would convict them to help a fellow human. People just don't want to put themselves out or risk their own safety to help others. No one is willing to sacrifice. They just can't get involved in something that won't benefit them in some way, much less, set themselves back. It just isn't done.
We are greedy. Oh, it isn't totally our fault, we grow up in a system that rewards greed - in fact, it glorifies it. Many believe that capitalism is a system sent by God. However, all it is really is dressed up greed. Today, it runs amok. Let the market decide! Well, the market decided that Walmart is our goods god, and Mom and Pop stores aren't worth our time or money. Guess what? Mom and Pop are humans trying to get by in this world. Who cares? We aren't going to pay an extra quarter to Mom and Pop as long as the Walton family has anything to say about it by offering "lower prices, everyday. Find us right next to the general store with the boarded up windows" No sacrifice. Greed. Greed by the Waltons. Greed by the consumer.
However, we cannot blame the Waltons nor our bad neighbors that won't patronize Mom and Pop anymore. We can't because greed is a disease. It permeates all of us. It is all we know and it is the consequence of a fallen world. We have to look out for Number One, don't we? Of course, we do! No one else will because of their own greed. We are forced to be greedy or risk ending up like Mom and Pop.
There are also other things that add to our selfishness. Fifteen percent of our population either suffers from depression now or has at some point in their lives. Depression is a selfish disease of the soul - the heart of what we are. When a person is in depression mode, they care nothing about nor even realize the needs of the people around them. If the depression does not act as a contageon (which often times it does), the selfishness that bathes in it will certainly be contageous - if for no other reason for suvival reasons. Depression is another result of the fall of mankind.
The opposite of greed and selfishness is sacrifice. We just don't. The world calls us foolish for sacrificing for others. The golden rule today isn't, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." No, it is do unto others FIRST, before they have a chance to do unto you." Make sure you get yours. Of course, some do sacrifice for others - their time, even money. However, often times it is a calculated move. Do you think that big corporations give to needy causes because they are good? Nope. They give because it looks good for them. That money comes straight out of their marketing budget. Plus, they get tax breaks on top of it. We, as individuals, get a payback for being kind to others in a different way. We do it because it gives us a good reputation. There also may be a monetary reward for our good deeds. Sometimes we do it so we can convince ourselves that we are good. There is not much more valuable to a human being than a well-placed ego stroke.
When I think of sacrifice, I think of Jesus. By all records, He didn't do ONE thing for his own interest. He dedicated His life in its entirety, including His death, for the direct benefit of others. Still, those who are Christians among us, praise Him, but act the opposite in our own lives.
Is it hopeless? It appears so in the big picture, but not so much in our individual lives. However, it takes effort. I sold my beloved truck to a neighbor for well below its value. He needed transportation to make a living (in a truck) and to take care of his wife who was in poor health. Am I tooting my own horn? Hardly. Not a day goes by when I get tempted to question my action because it kind of put me out. I have to force myself to believe it was the right thing to do sometimes. I must shamefully admit that the disease of self runs through my blood also. However, we can make the effort and choose to be caring and selfless. It is somewhat artificial because it is against our nature, but we can do it. That should give us hope that we CAN be the exception to this rule.