Six Pillars of Character

The Josephson Institute, Center for Youth Ethics designed a program for kids called “Character Counts!”  This is a wonderful program many schools have put into practice.  These six pillars are a great reminder of how we should all live and treat each other:



Trustworthiness: Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat, or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country

Respect: Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements

Responsibility: Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes • Set a good example for others

Fairness: Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly • Treat all people fairly

Caring: Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need

Citizenship: Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment • Volunteer


Using this color scheme below will help to remember each pillar of character:


Trustworthiness: blue Think “true blue”
Respect: yellow/gold Think The Golden Rule
Responsibility: green Think being responsible for a garden or finances; or as in being solid and reliable like an oak
Fairness: orange Think of dividing an orange into equal sections to share fairly with friends
Caring: red Think of a heart
Citizenship: purple
Think regal purple as representing the state



  1. This is great. Our school has just adopted this program as our character ed program. Each Wednesday we wear the color of the month that represents the character trait we are focusing on. Love this!!!

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