Innovation – by Marcel Proust

By Shlomo Maital


Marcel Proust

   Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was born on July 10 1871 and he died on the 18th of November 1922. He was a very eccentric French novelist, best known for his monumental novel In Search of Lost Time, better known as Remembrance of Things Past, published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927. His novel is not easy to read, but is highly innovative, on a par with Joyce’s Ulysses in its creative structure.

     My wife and I visited the lovely Descano Gardens, in Pasadena, California, today, saw the amazing California Redwoods (they are so stately, so wise and dignified, it is really hard not to hug them —   tree huggers, I understand you!!) ….   and in the art gallery in the gardens, saw this quote by Proust:

   The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes –

             But in having new eyes.

     Entrepreneurs and innovators simply see things others do not. But how do we acquire new eyes?   By really REALLY looking at things. By asking questions about what we are seeing. By asking dumb basic questions. Why? How come? How? When?   By taking the time to pause the reflect on what we see.  

     Let’s all get new eyes. Or, train the old ones to see new and wonderful things.   Let’s try to see each other more clearly, and see new ways to help others with new ideas.   If we all did that, or even if a few of us did it, the world would be more Proust-like.