There’s a book series I like called Birthright. (I actually only like the first book, so perhaps it’s inaccurate to say that I like the series as a whole.) The story takes place at the end of the twenty-first century, when chocolate is illegal, the government is corrupt, and goods are rationed. The protagonist is a teenage girl named Anya Balanchine who lives in New York and is the daughter of a deceased Russian mafia boss. Throughout the story, she often invokes her father, someone she seems to look up to despite his profession.
I will admit, the father is rather wise for a gangster. The following conversation is how Anya describes him talking about the chocolate ban:
Daddy once said, “Every generation spins the wheel, Anya, and where it lands defines ‘the good.’ Funny thing is, they never know that they’re spinning it, and it hits something different every time.”
I read this book a couple of years ago and that quote has stuck with me ever since. I always think of it when I see my generation latching on to some stupid fad or movement just because they think it’s cool. It’s an incredibly prescient observation and one that my age group doesn’t really get.