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This quote by George Bernard Shaw tops my list of favorite quotes and inspires me. These words give my creative soul permission to keep going–and explains it all.

“…I dream of things that never were, and ask, “Why not?”

pablo shaw


  • There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
    • Though Kennedy stated that he was quoting George Bernard Shaw when he said this, he is often thought to have originated the expression, which actually paraphrases a line delivered by the Serpent in Shaw’s play Back To Methuselah: “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”. This phrase was first used by his brother John F. Kennedy in 1963 (June 28th), during his visit to Ireland, in his address to the Irish Dail (Government): “George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life, ‘Other people, he said, see things and say why? But I dream things that never were and I say, why not?” (Address on YouTube). Robert’s other brother Edward famously quoted it (paraphrasing it even further), to conclude his eulogy to his late brother after his assassination (8 June 1968): Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?(Eulogy in CBS news video)

* https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy

I have a poster with this quote and it hung in my classroom for many years, so I could look at it daily. Now, it hangs in my apartment.

What inspires you?

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