On a recent trip to New Delhi, my most memorable times were spent with my school friends, sharing the journey of our lives. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I live, I eagerly wait for the weekends so I can get together with my friends over a cup of tea or a more leisurely meal.

Friendships are valuable for us all, and everyone has experienced the joys involved, and even the heartbreak of losing a friend. It is no surprise that the 4th century B.C.E. philosopher Aristotle wrote that “no one would choose to live without friends,” even if they could have all other good things instead.

Michigan State University philosophy professor Emily Katz writes that her students are “astonished” when they recognize how much they learn about their modern-day relationships from Aristotle. Katz shares three important lessons on nurturing and making friends from the ancient Greek thinker.

This week we also like articles about how Appalachia’s opioid crisis is portrayed in novels, songs and artistic photography, a big benefit older people derive from exercise and the role of AI in stock trading.

Kalpana Jain

Senior Religion + Ethics Editor

Aristotle (center), wearing a blue robe, seen in a discourse with Plato in a 16th century fresco, ‘The School of Athens’ by Raphael. Pascal Deloche/Stone via Getty Images

Three lessons from Aristotle on friendship

Emily Katz, Michigan State University

A scholar of ancient Greek philosophy writes about Aristotle’s timeless advice on how to nurture and keep friendships.

A lot of bad things can happen to young mountain gorillas in the wild. Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Thriving in the face of adversity: Resilient gorillas reveal clues about overcoming childhood misfortune

Stacy Rosenbaum, University of Michigan; Robin Morrison, University of Exeter

In many animals, including humans, adverse events in youth have lasting negative health effects over the life span. But new research suggests something different is going on in mountain gorillas.

The milk crate challenge went viral in the summer of 2021. ER doctors weren’t amused. Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images

Teenage brains are drawn to popular social media challenges – here’s how parents can get their kids to think twice

Elisa M. Trucco, Florida International University; Julie Cristello, Florida International University

Adolescent brains are especially vulnerable to risk-taking and social pressure. But there are steps parents can take to steer their teen away from dangerous social media stunts.

The Conversation Quiz 🧠

  • Here’s the first question of this week’s edition:

    Which 68-year-old author of "The Poisonwood Bible" and "Pigs in Heaven" just won a Pulitzer Prize for her new novel, "Demon Copperhead"?

    1. A. Barbara Walters
    2. B. Barbara Billingsley
    3. C. Barbara Kingsolver
    4. D. Barbara Cartland

    Test your knowledge