There are multiple occasions in the Torah requires that people respond to something:

לֹא תִרְאֶה אֶת שׁוֹר אָחִיךָ אוֹ אֶת שֵׂיוֹ נִדָּחִים וְהִתְעַלַּמְתָּ מֵהֶם הָשֵׁב תְּשִׁיבֵם לְאָחִיךָ – Do not see your brother’s ox or sheep straying, and ignore them. You should return them to your brother. (22:4)

The key ethic of the instruction is “don’t ignore”; it could perhaps be better phrased, “If you see x, don’t ignore it”. Why is the instruction and prohibition on the incidental seeing, “Do not see..,”, and not on the critical ignoring part?

The Sfas Emes notes that “seeing” is not a purely a a visual function. It also means perception and understanding.

There are different classes of mitzvos, and different reasons for them.

For example, tzedaka, authentic charity, is when the donor feel genuine empathy and affinity towards the recipient. If a person were to just give money away because it’s a mitzva, but didn’t feel empathy towards others, they’ve either done it wrong, or perhaps not at all!

That is precisely the point in this instruction. The prohibition is not just on ignoring over here; and the seeing element is not incidental at all. It is addressing the way we look at things.

לֹא תִרְאֶה… וְהִתְעַלַּמְתָּ – Don’t see… but ignore!

What the Torah truly demands is that our vision should be free from blindness. When seeing something, notice it, feel it, and respond to it with real feeling.