HOWARD RUFF: QUOTES TO LIVE BY
A number of these quotes are not original to Howard,
but that never stopped him from using them often.
Ruff's first rule of plagiarism: "Once I have stolen it, it's mine."
On remembering people: "I never remember a name, but I always forget a face."
His response when thanked for doing something nice: "It's the least I can do, and I always do the least I can do."
On food storage: "It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark." (See this fun graphic.)
On succeeding: "Your failures are your stepping stones to success."
On cows and illegal imigrants: "Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow."
On his religion: "I am a practicing Mormon, and I intend to keep practicing until I get it right."
On government: "Government can be a profitable servant but a fearful master."
On the Constitution: "They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it's worked for over 200 years and we're not using it anymore"
On the Ten Commandments: "The real reason we can't have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse – You cannot post, 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie,' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians – it creates a hostile work environment."
On education: "Self-education is the key to making wise decisions about your life, your money and your future."
On investing: "Buy low. Sell high."
"The love of money is the root of all evil."
"I went to work rich and came home poor, and it ruined my whole day."
"I‘ve been rich, and I’ve been poor. Rich is better."
Ruff's Golden Rule: "He who has the gold makes the rules."
On gold and silver:
"Throughout history, each time a paper currency finally caved in to inflation, gold and silver (especially silver) became the only universally acceptable coin of the realm."
"Gold and silver as a means of exchange and a store of value have always survived. They have always been symbols of wealth, far more precious in our consciousness than any mere paper."
"Gold can be spun out into a thread that is so thin it is nearly invisible to the naked eye. It can be pounded out into a plate so thin that light can pass through it. It won’t rust or corrode. It will look the same in 1,000 years as it does now."
"Silver is the poor man’s gold. Think of gold as large denomination money, and silver as small bills."
His requested epitaph: "I told you I was sick."
On marriage: "The secret to our long-lasting marriage is that we are both in love with the same man."
When asked how he was doing:
"I feel more like I do now than I did then."
"I feel more like I do now than I ever have before."
"I'm feeling a little more like myself every day."
At the start of a TV or radio interview:
Interviewer: "We're excited to have you on our program."
Howard: "Me too. I can hardly wait to hear what I'm going to say."
On maturity: "Maturity is the ability to delay immediate gratification for something better in the future."
On optimism and opportunity:
"Opportunity abounds in alleged bad times."
"True optimism includes realistically looking for opportunities among bad developments"
Before family prayer: "Lettuce pray and tomatoes do too."
On ideology: "Ideology is the enemy of investment, because it obscures reality."
On health care: "If you think health-care is expensive now, wait until it’s free."
On inflation and government spending:
"Excessive government spending and wide-spread entitlements are bringing the American economy to its knees. America has strayed far from its founding economic principles."
"The continued creation of fiat money is the engine of inflation."
When he disagreed with someone: "If I wanted your opinion, I would have given it to you."
On insanity: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
On anger: "Holding a grudge is like taking a little bit of poison every day and hoping the other guy will die."
On big government: "When you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail."
On his mistakes: "To err is human. But to be paid for it is divine."
On the true definition of temperamental: "One-half temper and one-half mental."
On apologizing: "When you mess-up, fess-up, and make-up."
On marketing: "If I could teach my children only one thing, it would be the skill of marketing. For with that skill, they could be successful at anything they chose for the rest of their lives."
On personal drama: "A crisis on your part does not create a crisis on mine."
On humility: "Once I thought I was getting humble. It felt awful, but I was only coming down with the flu."
"Consumer debt is bondage. If too much of your money is committed to interest payments to people who loaned you the money so you can drive another car, a bigger house, a home theater, or a luxury cruise to an exotic place, you are no longer in control of your financial future. If you have no debt, you can decide what to do with your money rather than sending huge monthly payments (most of it interest) to lenders who gave you the money to buy something that lost much of its value the minute you bought it. If you have no consumer debt, your money can be used at your discretion and you can keep your freedom because you are not dependent on any government entitlement. My advice is to stop taking on consumer debt and start working immediately to eliminate it."
"Free enterprise is an important part of establishing your freedom from government control. It means you can take the risk to start any business you want. If you succeed, you enjoy tangible rewards. If you fail, you clean up the mess. Free enterprise is fundamentally opposed to Obamanomics, which fraudulently promises economic success with no risk of failure because the government is the Big Kahuna who will save you. Obamanomics generally appeals to both the college-based intellectuals and the less educated, non-productive bottom layer of American society because they know almost nothing about real-world business. This is appealing to those who subscribe to the false premise that your status in life is not your fault; you are merely the victim of evil capitalist greed."
"Think like a maverick! A maverick is a bovine that has left the herd. He is probably lonely for a while, but when the rest of the herd is turned into hamburger, he will appreciate being a maverick."
"I also believe in capitalism. It is a way to capitalize income by turning a private business into a public company whose value is generally determined by some multiple of profits. It’s the way to create real wealth."
On family values:
"In order to preserve your freedom from government, you must return to the old-fashioned values that were established as the country was founded. Traditional families with mom, dad and kids are the strength of America. They are currently under assault, and we must fight tooth and nail to reestablish them and protect them."
"Remember the little girl who whined, 'I don’t have anything to do.' Her mother found a map of the world in a magazine and cut it out along the lines of each country into a big jigsaw puzzle. She told Mary to put it all together, thinking it would keep her busy for hours. Minutes later Mary came back whining, 'I still don’t have anything to do.' Her mother checked to see if Mary really was through with the puzzle, and sure enough, she was. So Mother asked, 'Mary, how did you do it so fast?' To which Mary responded, 'There was a picture of a family on the other side. I put the family together and the world was okay.'
"The moral to that story? If each traditional family will become solvent, self-sufficient and panic-proof, the world would be better changed dramatically."
On country and government:
"I believe that you should distrust your government. That doesn’t mean you should violate the law; reasonable laws of conduct are necessary for the orderly conduct of our lives. I yield to no one but God and the law in my life. I obey, but I think we should fight hard against expansions of the law into our lives. We need to make sure that laws passed by Congress are thoroughly debated and that people understand the consequences of just handing the laws over to a regulatory agency that has no responsibility for their actions.