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My Dad made a major commitment to my twin sister and me when he promised to be there for our first day of school.

He worked in Sao Paulo, Brazil and only came back home to Milan, Italy, twice a year, in August and at Christmas. So the big day finally came, but when we woke up that morning our Dad wasn’t home. We were crushed, but despite our disappointment, we still felt excited to start school.

Well, the first day flew by, and when the final bell rang, my Dad was waiting for us at the school gates. I was overjoyed to see him, and jumped into his arms along with my sister. On the way home, we bombarded him with our stories: what we’d done at school, the names of our new classmates, the teacher, the blackboard with all the colored chalk, the map of Italy on the wall.

And our stories continued at home too, during lunch with the family. When the meal was over, my Dad looked me in the eye and said: “Paolo, starting tomorrow, don’t talk about what you did, but ask yourself what have you learned, if you helped other people and if you love what you’re doing, because nothing else matters.”

He put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye again, as if I were an adult, and stood up. A few hours later he caught a plane back to Brazil. He had kept his promise, three days of travels for 6 hours with us.

Of all the millions of words I’ve heard and read over the years, those words from my Dad, spoken on October 1st, 1969, influenced my life more than any others. Continue reading

I read last week a new survey stating that Denmark on most parameters have reached gender equality and that we are in top compared with other countries.
Though it might not be a 100%, it seems quite true. I’ve grown up in Denmark and am now 38 years old, married with 4 kids. I’ve never felt that my gender has been a hindrance for me to do what ever I have dreamed of. I could choose freely in studies, got my master’s degree, have had interesting jobs and created several businesses.

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President John F. Kennedy on 24 May 24 1961 set a goal for the United States to send men to the Moon and return them safely to Earth by the end of the decade. It was a bold decision because the United States at that time did not have the rockets or spacecraft to accomplish the goal and has a total of 15 minutes of space experience with Alan Shepard’s suborbital flight earlier that month. Continue reading