Monday, January 15

6 Pillars of Character

The six pillars of character, according to the Iowa Character Institute are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. I wonder how the institute would grade our politicians re: character. Dear readers, please submit your grades for the politicians you think show good character. After all, don't we want leaders that exhibit these traits, in addition to critical thinking ability and political acumen?


Trust is the basis of all good relationships and a cornerstone of good character. Trustworthy people keep their promises, are honest, reliable, principled, and never inappropriately betray a confidence.

· 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

Treating people with respect helps us get along with each other, avoid and resolve conflicts, and create a positive social climate. Respectful behavior means treating others with civility and courtesy, accepting personal differences, listening to what others have to say, and refraining from ridiculing, embarrassing or hurting others.
· Each of us has a role in creating a respectful climate.
· Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule
· Be tolerant 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 is often regarded as a burden, but we discover that it is actually a great source of personal power. It is the key to taking charge of our lives. Responsible people do what needs to be done, fulfill their obligations, are accountable for their actions, use good judgment, and don’t let people down.
· Do what you are supposed to do
· 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 choices

Nothing makes people bristle like injustice, but often it’s difficult to know what’s fair and what isn’t, or what to do when faced with injustice. Fairness means living by the golden rule, doing what it takes to be a fair and just person, and realizing how much our personal actions do matter.
· 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

Caring is not just a way of feeling, it’s a way of behaving. What makes us caring people is doing caring things. Caring people respond selflessly to the needs of others and treat others with kindness, concern, and generosity.
· Be kind
· Be compassionate and show you care
· Express gratitude
· Forgive others
· Help people in need

Citizenship, at its core, is social responsibility in action. It is doing your part for the common good, serving your community, and helping make our democracy work. One person can make a big difference!

· Do your share to make your school and community better
· Cooperate
· Stay informed; vote
· Be a good neighbor
· Obey laws and rules
· Respect authority
· Protect the environment
· Recycle

1 comment:

CR said...

If you could pick one of the actions listed under the pillars to use as a directive for yourself and others, what would it be?

I vote for "Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule".