To Give or Not To Give
Imagine having the ability to fix everyone’s flaws, after seeing flaws in everyone you meet. The pressure and stress to act charitably would be overwhelming. Most people would self-destruct from the task. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines “charity” as “love for mankind” and “institution for relief of the needy” (Webster 57). In the short story “The Fix” by Percival Everett two characters Douglas, and Sherman are brought together by a charitable act. A store owner, Douglas, saves Sherman from a beating, and in return Sherman provides Douglas with acts of service around the store and later around the town. These acts cause more problems for Sherman than he bargained for. “The Fix” suggests that charity, while it can be beneficial, may also have the potential to be harmful.
One example of charity being beneficial is when Douglas rescues Sherman from the men beating him outside of his restaurant. Douglas who without knowing Sherman, then invites him in and show continued acts of kindness. The restaurant owner makes this stranger food, and when Sherman wants to leave Douglas talks him out of it. Douglas says, “These men might be waiting for you…Where do you live? I could drive you (Everett 131). Douglas saving Sherman from a beating is one thing, but inviting him in, and feeding him I believe is going above and beyond the normal everyday act of kindness. Unfortunately, the kind acts that some are given are taken advantage of by others.
Sometimes the more you give, the more people take. The first example of a charitable act resulting in a negative outcome is when Douglas’ wife Sheila finds out he let a complete stranger stay at the shop alone. It is not until her precious foot massager is fixed, and she is now gaining from Sherman’s gift, that her attitude changes. Her reactions start from, “Are you crazy” (Everett 134)? Then change to “No, no, it’s certainly all right if Sherman sleeps here. And tomorrow, he can...