If you live under a rock you may not have heard that Harper was the CTO for Obama’s campaign. Which is/was amazing. I have wanted to do a post about it for a while but couldn’t think of the best way to write it. I was worried that it would come off as a little brother being jealous of a successful older brother. Which I totally am. No lie. I am super jealous of Harper.
The thing about me being jealous is that it is covered by how proud I am of my brother. Harper has worked his ass off to get to where he is. He broke how technology and elections work. He treated the campaign like a high stakes start-up. At one point during the campaign I remember Harper saying that he can’t fuck this up but he didn’t have enough control to prevent that. He couldn’t control how people voted but he knew he could get blamed if they failed.
The hard part for me about Harper being on the campaign is that all I heard about was how awesome it was that Harper was working on the campaign. Over and over again. I would read something about Harper online and then meet my parents for dinner and they would tell me about the same article. Thanksgiving was a little rough because that is all anyone wanted to talk about. When Harper got the job I realized that it didn’t matter what I did nothing I did would top working for the Obama 2012 campaign. I realize how negative that sounds but it helped me get over a mountain that has been in my way for years.
The sibling competition that I had set up in my mind between Harper and I. The prize was my parents love. Not that I felt unloved. I just always felt second to Harper. But when Harper became internet famous I realized that while I would never be as well known as Harper or work to make the world a better place like Harper has been I can finally become the person I want to be. This didn’t all come from Harper being CTO. It has been evolving over the years as my relationship with my family has improved and I have learned more about myself. I think I finally see the same person when I look in the mirror that other people see.
Harper and I both want the world to be a better place. Harper seems to operate on the macro level. He uses technology to make things change and to influence things he believes in. I am much more micro. I help people change tires, make people laugh and wish everyone did the same. One of the people who works for my dad said, “Harper is going to change the world and if everyone was like Dylan we wouldn’t need to.” Aside from making feel pretty cool it also made me think that I need to focus on little things I can do that will make the world a better place.
I may never cure a disease or help a president get reelected but I can bring joy to people whenever I can, I can work with organizations I believe in at the local level to end child-abuse or educate people on the importance of reading.
Doing good is hard. It is almost always easier to not do good. Doing good requires that you give of yourself in someway. Every year for at least the past 10 years I have been the MC for the Weld County Children’s Festival. It is the one event every year that I do for free. I have been on the board for it in the past and will probably get back on it again in the future. The Children’s Festival is an event that gives a book to every child in attendance. THat is something I believe in and so I am willing to give up an entire Saturday to make sure that people have fun. Anyway, back to Harper and having a famous sibling. I have a few pro-tips if you ever find yourself with a famous sibling. Most of the things that are annoying about famous siblings are also amazing. First the pro tips.
Never read the comments: This was a lesson I had to learn. I am aware of the greater internet fuckwad theory, but I didn’t realize how that would effect me. When the news of Harper being the CTO broke it was a big deal on the internet. Articles were written, the same photo was used over and over again, people made comments. I was excited for Harper so I would read the articles which would lead to the comments. In turn that would lead to me getting pissed off. People who didn’t know Harper were saying horrible things. It was upsetting. Harper is my brother and I don’t like mean people or bullies. I never responded and stopped reading comments.
**They are what people are going to want to talk about with you: **Most people don’t have a famous sibling, so they don’t realize that hearing about in every single conversation is really really annoying. They also don’t know how many times you have heard the same comment or discussed the article. So be polite. Discuss it with them. It better to have people be excited about it then to rant about it.
You can’t win: Because it isn’t a competition. Everyone has different strengths. Focus on what you are good at and don’t worry about what they are good at.
People will get confused: I had one of my dad’s employees thank me for my work on the campaign. It was super awkward. Harper and I look similar except that Harper has a big ol’nasty beard, huge holes in his ears and red hair. But this will happen. So be cool and don’t be a dick about it.