Linda Chesterfield: Midwestern Soccer Mom Puts Family First

Linda Chesterfield is a prototypical Selective giver and in many ways fits the average case for that giving type, scoring in the moderate range on all her intrapersonal orientations. Remember that Linda and her husband give moderate amounts of money and time but would likely not give any money if the decision were solely up to Linda. In line with this, Linda scored low on Life Purpose, as do many of our donors who give small amounts. Moreover she scored high on Acquisition Seeking, which relates to less giving.

Acquisition Seeking (High)

Linda describes herself as “pretty much living the life that I want to live.” However, she goes on to say:

I wish we had more time. And, this is going to sound terribly greedy, but I wish we had more money, just to do things. Outside of essential things, I’d like to have some fun. Just like taking the kids a lot more places, going on vacations, getting some new furniture. That kind of stuff that we, with our budget and our family size, we just can’t justify right now.

Linda is a full-time mom to eight children, and on a number of occasions during the interview one or the other of them would interrupt to ask her a question. During one such interruption, her son excitedly told her that he had found two quarters in the backyard. Her response to his discovery was “Awesome. Well, take those two quarters back out in the grass and plant them and maybe they’ll grow into two dollars.” She noted that as soon as the words left her mouth, she wanted to retract them, and so she said, “No, they won’t do that. Come here. I’m just kidding!” Her son was already on his way out of the room. Linda told the interviewer, “I knew it would get him out of here. I feel worse than I thought. Because I knew he would leave, but now he’s probably like ‘Really? I’m going to go get some money from upstairs.’ ” She then yells, “Honey, Mommy was teasing. That can’t really happen! But if you put that in your piggy bank and save it or let Daddy deposit it in your savings account it could grow with interest.” Her son was already out of earshot, so she got up to go after him, telling the interviewer, “He went upstairs. I hope he’s not getting more money. Let me just check. Yeah, sorry.” Later in the interview she reflected, “I just wish there was a money tree in the backyard!” During the interview Linda discussed her mother’s influence on her Acquisition Seeking orientation: “I would actually say that maybe some of my mom’s bad financial behavior has rubbed off on me. I just, I’ll give freely or spend freely even if it’s not necessarily there, so that rubbed off on me, in a way.” She explains:

I like to shop. I’m not in love with shopping. I think if I had, if we had more money I could very easily be sucked in to that “Oh,

I love to shop, ‘shop till I drop’ [mentality].” ... But I don’t know,

I think buying more than you need is stupid. Or if you have something that’s in very good condition, going to replace it just because the newest model’s out, I think that’s just a little ridiculous, when there’s so many people who have nothing.

We see from this conversation that Linda has a desire to acquire possessions, but she also recognizes how much more she has than others. This, combined with her Prosperity Outlook and Collective Conscious orientations, appear to moderate her Acquisition Seeking orientation.

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