“It takes wisdom to be charitable.”
I believe there was a Papal encyclical a few years back that touted the necessity of linking charity to “understanding”. This caught my eye because I am Buddhist, and our view is the same. Many people, even some Buddhist practitioners, equate Buddhism with an all-out, unthinking compassion. But the correct understanding is that, just as a bird cannot fly with only one wing, virtuous behavior is only possible with a union of compassion and wisdom.
Most developed religions of the world make efforts to see beyond the surface of affairs. At most only one can be completely correct.
Indeed - it was a Buddhist monk who actually introduced me to the idea that unthinking “charity” can be useless, or actually harmful for the giver and receiver both, by creating or enabling bad karma.
One’s intent is only a first step. True compassion is thinking, and understanding causes and effects.
I congratulate the policeman for his kindness, but what did that man on the street need? I’m not sure, but expensive boots were not it.