‘We Can Do’

Moshe Kai Cavalin enrolled in college at age 8. He is now 14 and is about to graduate from UCLA. In addition, he has written a book, We Can Do, which he translated himself from Mandarin to English. Why is this notable? Aren’t there other “geniuses” who go to college early all the time? Yes, but when asked if he is a genius, Cavalin states,

“That’s always the question that bothers me,” Cavalin, who turned 14 on Tuesday, says when the G-word is raised. “People need to know you don’t really need to be a genius. You just have to work hard and you can accomplish anything.”

And maybe cut out some of the TV.

Although he’s a big fan of Jackie Chan movies, Cavalin says he limits his television time to four hours a week.

Take note. Cavalin said four hours of television per week. Aside from the fact that most American households have more televisions than people in them, those people are watching the “tube” for over 30 hours per week.

Americans watched more television than ever in 2010, according to the Nielsen Company. Total viewing of broadcast networks and basic cable channels rose about 1 percent for the year, to an average of 34 hours per person per week.

The difference between Cavalin’s television viewing and that of the average American is a part-time job qualifying 30 hours. If you spent an extra 30 hours per week on any other endeavor, you would find that you could accomplish a lot more. Although, I suppose your television pop culture trivia skills would suffer.

For those who might claim that Cavalin probably does nothing other than study, remember that he wrote and translated a book while in college, and he also participates in plenty of recreational activities, including scuba diving.

Cavalin’s level of determination isn’t for everyone, true, but if you take half of the time you would normally spend consuming media and use that time to create, learn, explore, or play, you would likely have a much richer and more interesting life.

I am impressed by Cavalin’s drive. At 14 years old, he’s already an excellent role model.