When one dynasty is replaced by another, it means the state of the old dynasty perishes. When benevolence and righteousness are obstructed to the point that the powerful lead others to exploit people and people fight each other, it means all under heaven perishes... Safeguarding the state is the concern of rulers, ministers, and officials; while safeguarding all under heaven is the responsibility of every individual, no matter how lowly they may be.
(Gu Yanwu: Record of Daily Study)
Gu Yanwu said: The rise and fall of all under heaven is the responsibility of every individual, no matter how lowly they may be.
(Mai Hua: The Responsibilities of Officials in Charge of Current Border Affairs)
The key to wiping out our country’s humiliation lies in our self-renewal... We have a large population, so it is impossible for every individual to achieve such self-renewal. We should do it ourselves whether or not others can also do it. This is just like what Gu Yanwu once said,"The rise and fall of all under heaven is the responsibility of every individual."
(Liang Qichao: Collected Works from the Ice- drinker’s Studio)