In many cases, I have had to use Objectivism "defensively" as I call it. In other words, there have been certain ideas of the philosophy that have helped me deal with particular negative aspects of the world we live in as opposed to values that I have gained from practicing Objectivism. Living in the heart of the Bible Belt all my life, I found Rand's explanation of religion and altruism to be very helpful. But my worst experience in life was during my college years which was also the time at which I read most of Ayn Rand's works including The New Left. I think the article "The Age of Envy" helped me more in dealing with the general contempt others held toward me because I dared to try to understand ideas and use them. Being all alone in my dedication to Objectivism in this locale, it helped to hear that evil was really a small, impotent force. But that is not what Objectivism is supposed to be about. It is a philosophy for living life and achieving happiness--not just something to fight the bad but something to achieve the good on this Earth and in this lifetime. I think that idea is what has had the most positive effect for me.