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Research suggests that having strong relationships with others can help promote longevity and improve overall quality of life. Positive social interactions can provide emotional support, reduce stress, and encourage healthy behaviours (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010).

Mary Gordon, Founder and President of Roots of Empathy, spoke at the New Longevity Summit organized by Ashoka and BBK in November 2022 in Balboa, Spain. There she spoke of the work Roots of Empathy does in supporting children’s mental-health and well-being and the importance of strong and reciprocal relationships.

Mary Gordon is one of the first Ashoka Canadian fellows, a Director on Ashoka’s Global Board,  and an expert in parenting, early childhood development and empathy.

“Relationships are the new currency,” according to Mary Gordon.However, socio-economic inequality in childhood has been worsened by pandemic isolations, which means that many children experience and will continue to experience poor access to this ‘currency,’ especially high value relationships – a significant component to longevity. Empathy, and the Roots of Empathy and Seeds of Empathy programs, play an important role in nurturing children’s ability to build relationships.

4 major points that break down how Roots of Empathy can improve relationships:

1. Roots of Empathy increases prosocial behaviour, which leads to better relationships. Find out more.

2. Roots of Empathy reduces aggressive behaviour and bullying, which leads to better relationships. Find out more.

3. Relationships are significant predictors of social and emotional wellbeing, positive mental health, and happiness. Find out more.

4. Positive relationships contribute to longevity. Find out more.

The vision of Roots of Empathy is ‘To Change The World, Child by Child’, and that is only enabled by your support. Thank you.

The Roots of Empathy program works to break down the barriers to relationship development brought on by socio-economic inequality though its classroom program, Roots of Empathy, and its partner child care centre program, Seeds of Empathy. More broadly, the Roots of Empathy organization also works to grow the empathy movement through research symposiums and presentations to realize a future where there are more equal opportunities in childhood. We deeply appreciate your support and your consideration which helps this work continue child by child.



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