Theme Of Competition In The Epic Of Gilgamesh

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Competition surrounds everyone. Whether it be in School, at a job, or a company,

competition is found. Nowadays we see students slaving away to be the best in the class, to feel

noticed. In a job, we see people sabotaging one another's work, competing to get the position.

With companies, we see them fighting each other over who can make the most money.

Competition is everywhere, and it is not beneficial to us. It affects how one lives and perceives

life. Competition can make someone's life dull and stressful. With competition, our actual goals

get lost and the only goal we are left with is to be better than the next person. I believe that

competition makes humans lose the value to living. Making people miserable of their lives.
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This means that one must be in the correct

mindset and work towards defeating the suffering.

Dehdari 3

The epic of Gilgamesh is a story about a man named Gilgamesh. When Gilgamesh’s best

friend, Enkidu, dies he goes to search for immortality in fear of his own death. Through his

journey he meets Siduri, the cup bearer. In Gilgamesh’s case his competition was beating

mortality. On his quest to mortality he begun taking less care of himself, so much that when he

encountered the cup bearer she noticed. Siduri said to Gilgamesh that the immortality he seeks

cannot be found (Leonard, 13). She counsels him and advises him to be happy, eat, put on clean

clothes, shower, and to hold his child's hand and hug his wife in joy (Leonard, 14). Siduri gives

Gilgamesh the simple task of just living and enjoying life by doing everyday activities in joy.

She advises him to put down his competition of beating death, and come to the realities of the

joy of simple everyday life. This shows that when competition is involved you stop taking care

of yourself, and thus stress is created until they get what they want. In Gilgamesh’s case, he

would not have been happy until he found immortality. With competition students are
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When Tu Hsia asked Confucius

about filial piety, he said: “‘Nowadays a filial son is just a man who keeps his parents in food.

But even dogs or horses are given food. If there is no feeling of reverence, wherein lies the

difference?’’’ (Analects, 159). In this quote Confucius is saying that anyone can give someone

something, like food in this case, but if there is no respect for the person there is no point in

giving them anything. I believe this is the first step in overcoming competition. Confucius used

Filial Piety because it was his way in explaining how youngers should respect their elders. By

taking this filial piety and changing it into respecting everyone we can get rid of competition. In

respecting, everyone, you can then respect what the person is doing and not have the will to

compete or do better than them. We can also take Filial Piety and put it towards yourself: to

respect yourself. When you respect yourself, you will not be tempted to compete with others.

Thus, letting you live your life, like Siduri advised Gilgamesh to do.

Ending competition results in living your life to the fullest, being stress free, and

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