I feel your pain...
This section is about empathy. The concept of empathy is difficult to define. It certainly has learned aspects, and also givens. I think we are normally born with a varying degree of empathy, and we can learn to add to it, or unlearn it to give its opposite, cruelty. Certainly the first video below substantiates that.
This first video with Simon Baron-Cohen on RSA lays out what empathy really is - and is not. He says cruelty is "erosion of empathy". You might be interested in taking his Empathy Quotient (EQ) test, though personally I would not take the results too seriously:
This second video is called "Nightmare in Manchuria". It shows how far it is possible for human beings to go if we lack empathy:
David Dow talking on TED uses his experience as a lawyer defending people sentenced to death in Texas, USA, to talk about how society can do more to prevent people ever reaching that stage. It also turns out this is more economical than following through the proceedings through to their ultimate destructive end. Essentially, he's saying his society should have more empathy "built in", and follow examples of other States or Countries that have better social services in place: