What stops people from connecting with their community, identifying with the great tribe (humankind), in a manner and to a degree, that leads to people avoiding helping out in situations to render assistance to people in need?
To a large and perhaps increasing degree, a lack of familiarity with the people in our society is a culprit, and further the sheer masses of people around us (and note I am specifically calling out large major cities of developed western nations), make us feel and think that someone else, in situations where someone needs help, will step up to the plate.
Situational anonymity has a lot to answer for.
A modern city lifestyle is far removed from the villages and tribes of hundreds and of thousands of years ago. Our survival, seemingly and practically, for all intensive purposes is not dependent on those immediately surrounding us. And the people surrounding us, think of your bus or train ride into work, we are not connected to and increasingly in a transient populace are still from the same great tribe, but perhaps not from the one we naturally associate with?
So we find our tribes online and foster them virtually and in ever decreasing circles (because we just don’t have time in a busy modern day life) get together with some rareity.
And then when a siren sounds, a car crashes, we hear raised voices or a scream, it has come from or relates to another anonymous city dweller who we don’t know, and surely with so many other people around, someone else will help?
*Situational Anonymity (Copywrite Living Your Dream Life): The phenomenon in western developed major cities where communities are so densely populated that individuals effectively retreat from connecting with people around them (through the combination of a fast paced life and a transient populace) that they can avoid social responsibilities and norms associated with small connected communities.