What Principles do You Live By?

John Lord, a historian of the late 19th century, in his chapter on the Greek war for independence says, "Men are nothing; principles [of life] are everything." In context, Lord was speaking of war, but I see a challenge to think of this statement in light of the Corona virus (CV19).
Here is the full context:

“It is the greatness of a cause which gives to war its only justification. A cause is sacred from the dignity of its principles. Men are nothing; principles are everything. Men must die. It is of comparatively little moment whether they fall like autumn leaves or perish in a storm,--they are alike forgotten; but their ideas and virtues are imperishable, --eternal lessons for successive generations. History is a record not merely of human sufferings,--these are inevitable,--but also of the stepping-stones of progress, which indicate both the permanent welfare of men and the Divine hand which mysteriously but really guides and governs.” (Excerpt From: John Lord. “Beacon Lights of History - Volume IX: European Statesmen.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/beacon-lights-of-history-volume-ix-european-statesmen/id967827077.)

Relating this to our individual responses to the Corona virus, sooner or later, by virus or age, we will all die. But by what principles and values will we have lived? What makes our "life sacrifice" valuable? What principles and values will we pass on to future generations? Do we give our lives in a "time of virus" for others or merely for our own pleasures? Warriors give their lives for a cause. The battle may not take it, but the willingness is there. What are we living our lives for?
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