Thanks so much for your feedback. I see now that I was basing my standard of health on something far too minimal. I wanted to add something that happened to me tonight on a bus ride home. I hope that I can elucidate my thoughts in a way that's clear and makes sense to others.
Tonight I was riding home on public transportation,and there was a lot of noise and chaos on the bus. Several people on there were very noisy and apparently had no respect whatsoever for the others among us who were sitting politely, trying to tend to our thoughts or talk at a respectful pitch to someone sitting next to us. The one's showing no respect on the bus also were clearly (judging from their conversations) not the type who probably take their lives very seriously at all.
I got to thinking of how many people on that bus are probably on welfare, or receive any of various kinds of government assistance to aid them in living parasitical lives. (I know that there were probably a good number of them because of the types of conversations I've had with others and have heard being had on various occasions in the past when riding the bus.) I started to see really clearly what Ayn Rand meant about the unvirtuous necessarily being dependent upon the exploitation of the virtuous if they are to attain their ends. I also became clearly aware that there is value in justice precisely because of this potentially dangerous impact the unvirtuous can have. If we all gave to each person as each deserved (when possible), based on persons' moral status as independent achievers (or the opposite), then we would help curtail the possibility of potentially dangerous forces (on whatever scale they might), from becoming inimical to our own lives. And, since evil necessarily spreads throughout a culture to the extent that it is not held in check and/or punished, it's about treating EVERYONE as they deserve, and not just the people we have direct dealings with.
After having seen all this very clearly tonight (I regret the fact of having missed the point when I read Atlas Shrugged 10 years ago for some reason), I've decided to be just by trying to be on the side of the good, to be an Objectivist, and to try to get a full-time job. I don't want to be on the side of destruction, and, potentially, chaos. And ANY danger is danger, so I don't see any room for accomodating the advancement of destruction whatsoever, or of being on any side save for that of people who (in the valid sense appropriate here), value themselves and others. I don't want to be on the side that by it's very nature heads towards an abyss. :)
I don't mean to suggest that the people on the bus who were behaving wildly were evil incarnate, by the way. It's just that their manner of acting got me to thinking about important themes from Ayn Rand's thought that I had not considered with as much clarity before. Because I have been reading Rand's writings for many years, I was primed upon witnessing what I did on the bus to begin thinking of themes such as the irrational being incapable of true achievement, the necessary dependence of the irrational upon the good, etc... It's related, I guess, to the fact that philosophy allows you a way to see concrete particulars from a wide, conceptual framework. I finally had a way of viewing the irrational within the broadest possible context. Next time I read Atlas Shrugged, I'm going to pay more attention;) I could have saved myself a lot of time and effort had I read it right the first time.