Ayn Rand rejects altruism, the view that self-sacrifice is the moral ideal. She argues that the ultimate moral value, for each human individual, is his or her own well-being. Since selfishness (as she understands it) is serious, rational, principled concern with one's own well-being, it turns out to be a prerequisite for the attainment of the ultimate moral value. For this reason, Rand believes that selfishness is a virtue. In the introduction to her collection of essays on ethical philosophy, The Virtue of Selfishness (VOS), Rand writes that the "exact meaning" of selfishness is "concern with one's own interests" (VOS, vii). In that work, Rand argues that a virtue is an action by which one secures and protects one's rational valuesultimately, one's life and happiness. Since a concern with one's own interests is a character trait that, when translated into action, enables one to achieve and guard one's own well-being, it follows that selfishness is a virtue. One must manifest a serious concern for one's own interests if one is to lead a healthy, purposeful, fulfilling life. Rand understands, though, that the popular usage of the word, "selfish," is different from the meaning she ascribes to it. Many people use the adjective "selfish" to describe regard for one's own welfare to the disregard of the well-being of others. Moreover, many people would be willing to characterize any instance of desire-satisfaction in these circumstances as "selfish," no matter what its content. Thus, many people arrive at the following composite image: selfish people are brutish people who are oblivious to the negative consequences of their actions for their friends and loved ones and who abuse the patience, trust, and good will of all comers to satisfy their petty whims. .