Essay on Ancient Values of Cooperation and Integrity

Submitted By lukesarmiento
Words: 542
Pages: 3

Human beings consider morals as intrinsic or highly fundamental and indifferent of culture or historic background. With this fact in mind, literature plays an important role in the freedom of the human approach to creating the perfect standard to living. From ancient civilizations to today’s modern society, people include these abstract ethics in the context of oral and written tradition. Ancient literature proves that civilizations across space and time have mutual and cultural values. The values of human cooperation and integrity are to be explored. In context, the Epic of Gilgamesh and “The Elephant in the Dark” both contribute to the value of cooperation as well as for The Analects and the Panchatantra to the value of integrity.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is tremendously involved with the idea of teamwork. Enkidu, Gilgamesh’s loyal companion, doubts of their success in efforts to slay the evil Humbaba. However, Gilgamesh encourages Enkidu, “Today, give me your aid and you should have mine: what then can go amiss with us two?” (20). Gilgamesh and Enkidu both rely on each other for his support when battling with Humbaba. In the end, cooperation is the key to slaying this guardian of the Cedar Forest.
Cooperation could also be found within “The Elephant in the Dark” by the Sufi Muslim poet, Rumi. This tale is about a group of men who explore the parts of an elephant in the dark in order to interpret its details. “If each of us held a candle there, and if we went in together, we could see it” (119). This reference alludes to the knowledge of one individual compared to the other. As spoken, when two or more ideas combine, the whole picture becomes more precise. If human beings cooperate with each other, then the problem could be resolved.
Integrity is widespread throughout many different cultures. Specifically, some literary works from the Chinese culture proves just that, such as the Analects by Confucius. “The Master said, He who rules by moral force is like the pole-star which remains in its place while the lesser stars do homage to it” (269). In other…