Charles Phipps wrote:
Good call. In a very real way, Picard realized he's not ONLY a starship Captain. He's made the transition Kirk couldn't. It also seems possible the Borg and Dominion War "ruined" being a Captain for him.
I don't know that they ruined being a captain so much as they helped him redefine his priorities. He's realized that his career isn't everything and that there are other things in a person's life that can be worthwhile. I agree that he's a more complete character than Kirk at this point: Kirk could never let go of the Enterprise
, the biggest reason why he was never able to settle down and have a normal life. I suppose he was never meant for that sort of thing, but it would have been nice to see him finally find peace somewhere else besides a command chair.