Top 5 Most Popular Quotes of All Time, Examined

There are quotable people, and then there are those who are by now practically immortalized by an adage they offered one time or another. The following are some of the top most popular quotes that have gone on to inspire millions of people.

These are from the tip-top set of the "Top 100 quotes of All Time," as claimed by popular quotations site BrainyQuote.com. The list itself holds a wide variety of thoughts from thinkers both ancient and contemporary, but for the utmost top five, the quotes that have inspired people the most are those about love, hope and joy.

#5: Joseph Campbell

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."

Pixabay/jill111John Cambell's quote centers on finding comfort when facing challenges in life.

It's a short message for those looking to seek comfort in difficult times, as Campbell, a renowned professor and writer of mythology and religion, would advise his readers. For the fans of the police procedural show "Criminal Minds," they'd be interested to learn that this was also one of the quotes that have been featured in the show in season 7 episode 8, "Hope."

#4: Maya Angelou

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."

Pixabay/brigachtalMaya Angelou's quote is a message that encourages a person to be a good companion to other people.

Dr. Maya Angelou, an American civil rights activist, singer and poet, was one day reminded of a lyric from a song — "God put a rainbow in the clouds." It was one of the ways she described how she and others like her express gratitude for the kindness of others in a guest appearance in the Oprah's Master Class series.

In her interview, she shared how someone can be a "rainbow in someone else's cloud," no matter who they are, as long as the chance presents itself.

#3: Aristotle Onnasis

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."

Pixabay/geraltAristotle Onasis' quote is a message of hope.

Brainy Quote may have attributed this one to simply Aristotle, and the website is half-right. The ancient philosopher may or may not have said something similar to this piece of wisdom, but most sources would agree that it was the Greek mogul Aristotle Onassis who was considered the first to have come up with this gem.

His father was put in prison, and their business was either taken away by the Turks by force or burnt down during the Greco-Turkish war of the 1920s. He has persevered to, later on, become one of the wealthiest moguls of his time, and it's this same mindset that results in some of his most famous quotes like this one here.

#2: Oscar Wilde

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."

Pixabay/NietjuhOscar Wilde shares the importance of love in this quote.

A poignant thought that could only come from a poet, Oscar Wilde was an Irish novelist and playwright that went on to become as famous for his maxims as well as his written works. This particular quote about love was noted down by Alvin Redman in "The Epigrams of Oscar Wilde," and the entire thought goes:

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring."

#1: Helen Keller

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart."

Pixabay/RitaEThis quote from Hellen Keller centers on the best things in life.

The story of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan is like no other ever seen by the world through numerous books and movie adaptations. Despite Keller being deaf and blind, she had gone on to become one of the most famous authors in the world, although her most famous quote may have originated not from her, but from her teacher.

Even then, both the student and teacher who wrote down that thought in a letter from way back in 1891 would go on to touch the minds and hearts of millions of readers over the decades.