A Camp Fire Story

bbs radio

…on Change and Miracles

By Doug Newsom

bbs radio

I am so overwhelmingly grateful since that fateful day on November 8, 2018, the day my family lost everything in Paradise during the California Camp Fire! The day my twin brother, his wife and four teenagers, and I lost our home, our business, our possessions, our community, our sense of security and safety, and our retirement savings. We don’t have a picture of our parents or an item we cherished to hold on to anymore. And I can’t stop saying, Thank you! Every day is a miracle! Every single day since tragedy struck!

Last year, I wrote an article in the Lotus Guide in which I mentioned that BBS Network (BBS Radio) had just completed its solar installation (to do the right thing), and that we might be the first company in the industry to operate 100 percent on solar power. It was an achievement, along with others that were completed just weeks and months before the fire, that took years to accomplish (a lifetime). BBS Network was at the apex of the industry and well situated to grow rapidly into the foreseeable future. Everything we’d worked for, what we’d hoped to accomplish and set in motion, was finally complete and ready for launch. We were excited! A lifetime of work and dreams were emerging (converging). Then tragedy struck (and we may never reach that level again).

Great change of terrible proportion is something we’ve experienced regularly. We’ve had everything taken from us or stolen from us more than a half dozen times. We’ve also lost our home and possessions in three separate events. In a couple of instances, my brother and I were capable of retirement before the event occurred. In every instance, we lost everything of financial value.

It was after one of these events, the most costly, that I gained the most personally—a spontaneous Kundalini after two years of inner reflection and hours of daily meditation. It was a period when I had to forgive the world and embrace it, or quite frankly, go insane. I was seeking ways to make sense of terrible events, caused by bad people and nature, one after the next for a period of 20 years.

A human soul who wants to grow in wisdom and compassion can not do so in a bubble!

During times of great change, we evolve the most. This is true for all living things, which change genetically to adapt to changing circumstances. We know from history that levels of higher awareness are most often obtained (abruptly) after major events (periods of fasting, long periods of quiet meditation, near-death experiences, loss of a loved one, major societal changes, etc.). These Quickening moments help define us (good and bad) and we must embrace them (and be grateful).

The definition of insanity—being unforgiving!

My brother and I are extremely positive people. We love what we do, which has a positive impact in this world (we have a purpose). We tend to think outside the box. We set goals. We motivate each other. We thrive in competition. We are workaholics. We get over things quickly. Traits that come in handy when calamity strikes!

Yet for us, this time around, they were all seemingly unnecessary, because an outpouring of generosity from a thousand souls showered us almost immediately and continuously (even before we could recognize what was happening). As a result, BBS Network (BBS Radio) was back in business 30 days later. How does one ever describe the feelings that come from this level of awareness? How does one ever give enough thanks? And it was a competitor in the industry that started, created, and managed the donations (what company does that for another?) because it cared about our well-being.

BBS Radio is our future! It is our way of empowering the world! It’s our dream! It’s our way of exploring and sharing many points of view, not just one. It’s our chosen vehicle to effect positive change. It means everything to us, and we got it back through the compassion of others (most we don’t know), unexpectedly (because of a competitor).

Donald and I have never taken from others. We’ve turned down every manner of gift and offer of help since we were boys. We are very independent, so accepting this generosity took even deeper levels of awareness (deeper levels of humility)! But once we showed our need and vulnerabilities to the world, it repaid us with kindness, cradling us with support (weakness was our greatest strength).

I often surmise that change, like karma, has a reciprocating affect, meaning don’t be surprised if the forces of change you release come back at you (in more ways than you can expect).

Dogma or ignorance is the result of no thought … no, more thought upon, that strangles the host. To come together, we must think of right and wrong, and good and bad, based on everyone else’s point of view (not just our own). We don’t grow from the known, but by knowing more! Ultimately, we’d like to find peace in that knowledge (this understanding guides us)!

It can be said, a sense of purpose grants you clarity.

Donald and I knew what we had to do within hours of this tragedy. We had to get back in business as fast as humanly possible (because our work had a higher purpose)! Such a motivation in life has no equal. A purpose that goes beyond the self! Because BBS Radio affected so many people (positively), it gave us the motivation to overcome all challenges, and BBS Network rose from the ashes (during a period of total chaos) in a few short weeks.

A little advice: Ultimately, no matter what happens, when tragedy strikes, remain calm. Be more observant and try to provide assistance and comfort to those around you. This will help you as much as others to keep from feeling sad, scared, angry, or some other undesired emotion (because you must now show strength). As soon as possible, create a plan of action, a list of things you need to accomplish. Just do it! It will guide you! See things in terms of possibilities. Embrace the mystery and newness, and tell yourself over and over that something good will come of this! Be positive!

When in doubt, get help!

In this instance, given the magnitude of the financial losses, we sought out help. In most cases, it’s not what you know or how you think, it’s whom you know that benefits you the most! In our opinion, the single most important person to know (to find) is a good lawyer! Period! This is true for every single major event we’ve ever had to deal with during the past 30 years.

Call our lawyers! They’re impressive! 530-812-1120


Douglas Newsom (and Donald Newsom), Founders of BBS Network (BBS Radio)