To start, there are multiple variations of this quote, all with the exact same meaning. I do believe the one i chose makes the most sense from a harmonious point of view, and thus i believe it is the original.
The most popular form of this quote is however:
Some men see things as they are and ask, “”Why?”” I dream things that never were and ask, “”Why not?””
A popular quote does not mean it is the original, it simply means it was erroneously written somewhere. Later, this new version is picked up by other publications from that erroneous initial publication.
Back to the quote by Robert F. Kennedy, the U.S. Senator and brother of assassinated U.S. president JFK.
Some men see things as they are, and ask why? I see things as they could be, and ask why not?Robert F. Kennedy
It is simply put an invitation to look outside the box, to use your creative imagination to find solutions that are not considered standard. In other words, this is an invitation to innovate.
Some men see things as they are, and ask why?Questioning the status quo is very good, asking why things are like this is good, however this by itself is not enough. We should use our brain to imagine other solutions to problems, or simply ways to improve a society, business or product.
Thus the second part of the quote:
I see things as they could be, and ask why not?