Character Education

The Six Pillars of Character 

Character Counts! Josephson Institute of Ethics, Michael Josephson

TRUSTWORTHINESS  . . .  A person of character is trustworthy, lives with integrity, is honest and reliable...

  • Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
  • Do what you are supposed to do – return what you borrow; pay your debts; be on time.
  • Have the courage to do what is right and to try new things even when it is hard, costly, or you might fail.

RESPECT  . . .  A person of character values all persons, lives by the Golden Rule, respects the dignity, privacy and freedom of others, is courteous and polite to all and is tolerant and accepting of differences.

  • Be tolerant, respectful, and accepting of others.
  • Value and honor all people for themselves, not what they can do for you or to you.
  • Respect others’ property – take good care of property you are allowed to use and don’t take or use property without permission.

RESPONSIBILITY  . . .  A person of character exercises self-control and pursues excellence…

  • Think about the consequences for yourself and others before you act.
  • Accept responsibility for the consequences of your choices not only what you do but also what you don’t do. 
  • Do what you can do to make things better.
  • Set a good example.
  • Take charge of your own life.
  • Set realistic goals.

FAIRNESS  . . .  A person of character is fair and just, is impartial, listens and is open to differing viewpoint...

  • Treat people equally.
  • Make decisions on proper considerations without favoritism or prejudice.
  • Don’t take advantage of or blame others unfairly.

CARING  . . .  A person of character is caring, compassionate, kind, loving, considerate and charitable…

  • Be thankful and express gratitude for what people do for you.
  • Forgive others for their shortcomings.
  • Help people in need – give money, time, support and comfort just for the sake of making someone else’s life better, not for praise or gratitude.

CITIZENSHIP . . .  A person of character is a good citizen, does his or her share, helps the community, plays by the rules, and respects authority and the law

  • Protect the environment by conserving resources, clean up after yourself and avoid polluting.
  • Obey parents, school officials and others who have been given authority.
  • Honor and respect principles of democracy.

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