There can not be individual development whether spiritual or material in isolation from the collective development of the society. An individual can not evolve by himself. He can only be part of the collective evolution. All information and knowledge an individual has is primarily acquired from the world around and he may process it to arrive at conclusions, but the source is always outside.
Even when you search inside for an answer what you find is something stored in the past. When the world evolves the individual also evolves. He may lag behind but can not be left behind. When the singer improves his style, the orchestra also has to keep pace with him. When the orchestra improves (new technology and skills) , the pressure is on the singer to improve himself.
Somebody is observed to be growing rich because society recognizes money. Somebody is able to exploit because there sources available to be exploited. Somebody is a respected scholar because the society appreciates knowledge. Somebody's lung capacity is irrelevant today because the society has not yet fixed a price for air. The individual is only a thread in the fabric.