I really quite enjoyed this chapter as people around Pierre suddenly start to appreciate him. The odd thing is, he’s finally reached a point in his life, where people are accepting him and appreciating him – however, he no longer needs people’s appreciation to be happy.

So, in a way, Pierre is just happy caring for others and observing the human condition – and it is in doing this, that he is now attractive to those who couldn’t stand him. Certainly, to have him repair the relationship between him and his cousin (who we haven’t heard of since Book I, when he gazumped her on her inheritance) is pretty impressive.

But isn’t that true of life, though? Those people we get on with best are not the needy people who desperately crave our affection – but those people who have their lives together in some way. It means they might not necessarily need us around – but they’ll make better friends in the long run. I think. That sentence made sense when I first started writing it, but now I think I have to ponder it longer . . .

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 15.13 – Winning People Over

  1. Your sentence made sense to me, Matt … although I felt in this chapter that it was less Pierre’s absence of neediness, and more his general and new-found sense of being grounded, that has led to everyone liking him so much, and feeling so much more at peace with him – this, together with his capacity now to see the good in other people, and to draw their attention to it. And that’s certainly something that I find to be very true, too – seeing the good in people can be incredibly disarming, and can break down a lot of the antagonisms that people might otherwise feel towards one another. And yet we, like Pierre, can often take a long time to learn that, if, indeed we learn it at all.

    This was, of course, the trait that impressed Pierre so much in Karataev … and now, in this chapter, I guess we’re seeing that it’s something that brings both an inner peace and a peace with others, too. Pierre has certainly been through a lot of twists and turns to get to this point and yet, somehow, it always seemed right that this is where he would end.

  2. Well, your little piece here made me think, Matt – I think we often understand things better when we’re not so intense about it. Ever notice how much more you see when you’re not standing that close to the screen?

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