When you forgive someone of an offense it is precisely to restore the relationship that has gone south with the goal of avoiding and resolving the mistakes that have caused the pain and suffering. Never forgetting the offense becomes a positive force when both the forgiver and the forgiven remember the pain and high cost the offense had brought about for both parties. So to apply it to Peter and Alicia, they both must come to terms with what has been and the positve outcome they can build on for the future. Peter as portrayed in all the episodes, by far, appears to have resolved the errors he had made and has worked hard to restore his relationship with Alicia.
Ms. Hampton, I agree with your assertion "to forgive and never forget." But, I totally disagree with the way you apply this principle. I find your "at-one-ment" resolution insincere, absurd, unreal and one-sided. Only God is able to forget our sins once we repent and He forgives us, but for a human being like me it is difficult to forget the pain others may have brought upon us. So, I understand why we should never forget. However, true forgiveness is a two-way street wherein the forgiver and the forgiven come into agreement - a covenant is more apt - to work hard on restoring and rebuilding the relationship and the trust they have for one another.
I believe in forgiveness. It's my stock-and-trade.
But I do not believe in the "forgive and forget" type of forgiveness. I believe in "forgive and never forget". And there is a difference. The type of forgiveness I believe in is the at-one-ment that the forgiver gets when they are ready to forgive.
I think Alicia is at-one-ment (at peace) with what Peter did. I also think that she will never trust Peter the way she used to. Forgiveness does not mean that Alicia and Peter's relationship has to return to marriage. Peter's actions created a new reality. I continue to believe the new reality is that, while Alicia will always care about Peter (he is the father of her children after all), she's not in love with him anymore. And life is too short to not be with the person one is in love with.
Ms. Hampton, you must be be an angel or spiritual being who never errs. Your statements seem to reflect a sentiment that doesn't give anyone who makes any blunder in life any opportunity to redeem themselves. The last time I looked around the world I found humans being always prone to error. Wouldn't it be wonderful if people could be more forgiving and allow others who fall the opportunity to redeem themselves and make up for their errors? At least for those who are genuinely repentant and actively working to restore what they have broken down. To me, it is important to realize that we all have several flaws, and capable as other human beings to commit terrible blunders. So yes, everyone deserves a second chance, but only for those who are genuinely repentant and strive hard to earn back the tust they had lost.
@Diego, you write: "I love your optimism about the Peter-Alicia-Will saga because almost everyone would want a happy ending and I for one would like that to happen."
I have a question: Why does Peter deserve a "happy ending" with Alicia? Actions have consequences. And since Peter chose the action (sleeping with Kalinda and the prostitute) that brought about the breakdown of his marriage, why should he get a happy ending?
At what point does a person's actions make it not viable for them to get the "happy ending" that they want?
For the show, not necessarily, Ms. Hampton, but certainly I would also have wanted the writers to clarify that matter further if time and episode space permits. However, there have also been a lot of dialogues and scenes that implied and hinted that Alicia and Peter had somehow gotten that issue off of their chests -- like how Alicia has started to warm up to Peter as of late. Ideally, and in real life, your observation about that issue is valid, but alas, again we only have to glean through the episodes, dialogues and try to connect the dots for the answer. Peter's reformation is a vital clue that he is on track and done something right.
We have seen Kalinda repeatedly apologize to Alicia for sleeping with Peter. If Peter had apologized, don't you really think they would have shown us that?
I'm not saying that Peter hasn't reformed in some way; I'm saying that since he has never apologized for sleeping with Kalinda, the reformation only goes so far. And if you never apologize for the action that causes irrevocable harm/hurt to your spouse, are you really reformed?
Kao, I love your optimism about the Peter-Alicia-Will saga because almost everyone would want a happy ending and I for one would like that to happen. So if it goes the other way Peter stands to lose the most -- his family life wouldn't be complete, his hard work to return to prominence and power empty because he would not have those he cares about with him to share with. Either way the ball bounces, Will has nothing to lose but all to gain. If Alicia chooses him he gains a hot chick lawyer, a prospering firm, and all the perks that go with it. If Alicia dumps him, I don't believe it would hurt much because he doesn't have a family to worry about...and he has an array of top quality ladies waiting in the wings for his love and attention.
The end results is she reunites with Peter and Will ends up in a world of hurt.
A TV series, with the limitations of time (and space???), cannot crowd in all the details and scenes about the interactions of all its characters, so the viewer is left to glean from the various scenes and dialogues to determine where the story is going and how the characters are portrayed. Insofar as Peter's character has developed, four seasons seem to imply that somewhere in between he got to finally realize the error of his ways, acknowledged it and is rising up from where he had fallen. It is therefore important to always consider the context of all that is happening as a whole not only its parts.
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The law is an odd thing.
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Added: March 12, 2012
The law is an odd thing.
This is mess.
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Added: January 27, 2013
This is mess.
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