Honestly, our shock to this is probably above all, a testament to how far we've come. It's not historically common for people to care about people who weren't their own.
But despite all we've seen in the media, we're actually at an all time low when it comes to deaths in war and combat, crime is drastically down, and we have European nations (sans Hungary) opening their door to Syrian migrants.
This is where I say that "advanced" civilization's governments DO NOT CARE about human life.
I'd draw a drastically different line from a "advanced civilization" government like the German democracy which is dropping 6 billion dollars worth of aid for syrian migrants from the PRC which has, probably for the life of it's self, just not cared much for it's own people.
Unchecked cynicism is just as intellectually lazy as unchecked optimism; it's just comes off as more passably "mature." Don't take this as insult pointed at you; it's not. It's just an easy trap to fall in. We see much around the world, more than anybody has in history and we need to make mental reorientations to account for the bias toward negative news. Frankly, the more unlikely a catastrophe is, the more likely it is to be reported on, and our brains are already wired to remember bad things more.