Dear Joe, Small Intestine & Critical Thinking

Spring is just around the corner. I wonder how you are doing, Joe. By this time, you are supposed to be back home. I wonder whether you had enough time to ponder about your future while experiencing the homeless’s life in D.C. After finishing my second quarter last week, I also take some time off and catch up with several tasks. I am surprised to see the list of my “tasks.” How are you, Joe? 

Critical Thinking & Reflective Thinking

What comes to your mind when you read “critical thinking and discriminate capacity,” Joe? When I look at my long list of tasks, I thought about my priority. Critical thinking has been considered one of the main goals in the educational system in many countries. It would be best to learn how to 1. organize information, 2. structure reasoning, 3. consider evidence, 4. identify assumptions, 5. evaluate arguments, and 6. communicate conclusion. Thus, you need to have some level of discrimination capacity. I personally appreciate the idea of identifying assumptions. Assumptions ultimately the way we see this world, is it? Joe, if you want to read more about these critical thinking steps, check out here. In fact, critical thinking comes from Dewy, who described this critical thinking as reflective thinking in 1910. After five years of rigorous doctoral education, reflection becomes almost my second nature, Joe. I wish I could continue with this topic with you soon. For now, This link seems to have the best information about critical thinking. 

The Power of Small Intestine: Critical Thinking

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), critical thinking and discriminative capacity rely on the small intestine. It intrigues me. The small intestine is the Yang organ, which came to me as insignificant. The small intestine works together with enzymes from the liver and pancreas. It does not sound “critical” enough to perform critical thinking and discriminative power when it comes to decision making, does it, Joe? Just like our biological structure, TCM promotes non-binary (e.g., significant or insignificant, bad or good) approaches to understand our mind, body, and soul. There is no concept of “spectrum” such as autism spectrum disorder in Western psychology, at least to my knowledge so far. Each body part carries its own immeasurable significance and has its own roles and functions. In fact, the small intestine’s Yin counterpart organ is the Heart, the Fire element, which considers as an emperor in TCM. If you want to read more about the organs in TCM, check out here

Joe, I hope you understand that your roles wherever you belong moving forward in 2021. I also plan on critically review my roles in my life domains during this couple of weeks of break before April, when we fully embrace the life-awakening power of spring, just like the small intestine! 

Enjoy your rest and be safe, Joe! 

In reflection, 

C.S. Taylor

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