Flip is a generous person. He regularly empties his pockets into the hands of street beggars when most people would write them off as lazy. He gives from a full heart and can't do enough for strangers.
There are those who take refuge in the old saw about giving a man a fish to feed him for a day as opposed to teaching him to fish so he can eat forever. Long-term solutions vs short-term fixes, which are likened to bandaids on bleeding sores.
I think that both arguments have merit. Certainly it is important to give a person skills to sustain him and his family, but sometimes individual momentary help is also necessary. After all, life is made up of moments strung together.
The act of giving helps not only the recipient, but the giver as well. It creates a bond, however briefly, between those who have enough to give and those whose own minimal needs are not being met. It reinforces that we are all human no matter what our circumstances.
There is a story about a man walking along a beach who sees thousands of starfish stranded by an unusually low tide. He knows they will die if left on the dry sand but he can't help them all, so he continues walking.
He comes upon a child who is frantically throwing as many starfish as she can to deeper water.
"What are you doing?" he asks.
"I'm saving the starfish."
"But there are thousands of them. You can't possibly save every one, so what does it matter?"
She holds one up and tosses it back into the water.
"It matters to this one," she says.