A Spartan of Ancient Greece did not fight merely for himself. But also for others. His Spartan living began from the day he was born and his whole life was spent in service of the city-state. What moral sense one can hold without giving the individual his due?
A nation may hold me under its obligation this much and no further. It may be the most enlightened and noble. Even so I must never sell myself to its bondage.
Coming back to Sparta, the city-state with its scant regard for individual liberty did a terrible mistake. There was no dissenting voice to make it take a warning or reexamine its perilous path. The state that let the weak and sickly to perish and admitted only fighting men, and women to give birth to more of the same could not have known democracy; The Spartans never learnt to govern by consent but instead spent their lives to fight wars. It earned them victory and slaves. They thrived on slave labor on a massive scale that was a pointer to the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century.
I do count in the scheme of things: on the anvil of time human society is hammered by time and I may not escape the hard blows and shape may be changed, drawn or made into some ingot. These are outward forms of my destiny as to be part of the whole but there is still me as part of it all. I may have been tested by fire or dipped in cold water of chance. I still count. Since I have imparted something of my own to the whole lump I shall be present in whatever society may finally end up. Should I care as to what shape? Not exactly. Had I while there was time and power to understand my place in the scheme of things and could rise above my limits I have reinvented myself. If once it stands to reason there shall be many more such changes.
To reinvent and to hold my own is the excellent goal I have set for myself. For what purpose? My answer is simple: I please myself. What would the world care if I rose like a phoenix above every circumstance? The world seeks its own pleasures to understand the values I have set for my own world or motives. Strangely enough every change that you and I make alters the existing status quo. It matter not in the least whether it is noticed by others or not. If not for that there would not be such a thing as progress. In the stone age a flint must have been the state of the art. But iron age made it outdated and inadequate. It is thus human society is made up where human excellence is never lost. like the proverbial leaven any one may affect the whole. Sparta or Rome or any other may be breached by any individual who has not compromised to ride the coattails of others. I consider any such compromise is suicidal.