Is being fortunate an obligation to help others? Host Billy Shore travels to Portland, Maine to chat with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo and pastry chef and restaurant owner Ilma Lopez (Piccolo, Chaval) about the good fortune that has propelled their careers and how they use their talents to create social impact. “Successful people don’t like to talk about how important luck is… Luck does have a large part to do with success,” says Russo. Lopez agrees that being in the right place at the right time helped her career advance, and her habit is to give back when something fortunate happens to her. “The more blessings we have in our lives, the more we have to give. Every time something good happens to us we have to give something out,” she believes.


The guests discuss whether social responsibility is more important than ever given our current political climate. Russo and Lopez agree it comes down to using our strengths. “Storytelling is about empathy… and that is an act of moral imagination. I use my time to make myself heard on moral issues,” says Russo. “We talk at the restaurant ‘Is it really meaningful what we’re doing or should we really be doing something else? What if we close the restaurant and go down to the border and try and feed these kids?,’” asks Lopez. However, she concludes that helping neighbors and local charities can ultimately be just as valuable.


Share in this thoughtful conversation among people who see social responsibility as a basic human instinct as well as a moral obligation.

See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at