What Makes the Best Quotes?

The Board of Wisdom was originally created based on my lifelong interest in quotations that lift the spirit either by being funny, inspiring, or both. Please read What Makes the Best Quotes?, which is the basis for the quote list.

- Art Schrage

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Do the best quotes contain more wisdom?

In many cases, the best quotes carry a subtext, or unwritten message, that you can only understand if you share a certain life experience. The very best quotes often refer to life experiences that are universal or highly cherished.

If you equate life experience with wisdom, you could say that the best quotes carry a bit of wisdom.

Or are the best quotes the ones that surprise you?

Quotes make an even greater impact when they are not completely predictable. With the best quotes, as with jokes, you often do not see the punch line coming. You end with a surprising thought that can make you laugh or cry.

If you equate wisdom with understanding of the human experience, a quote written in this way reflects the wisdom of the writer. She can deliver ideas in this way because she knows the ideas and feelings we all share in common.

Or are the best quotes the ones that make you feel good?

The best quotes often bring out strong emotions in us. Whether they make us laugh or cry, we are glad we read them. And when we vote for these quotes, we make it easier for everyone else to enjoy them too.

Some people feel that wisdom is knowing how to enjoy being a human being. The Board of Wisdom naturally brings up the quotes that help you do this.

Does the Board of Wisdom rank wisdom?

The quotes at the top of the Board of Wisdom reflect a kind of consensus. Many people with very different perspectives find value in the quote. Sometimes they appreciate its basic meaning and sometimes they appreciate the unspoken idea it contains.

If you look, you'll see the quotes that dominate the Board of Wisdom certainly seem to be wise...at least some of them, anyway :-)

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