The 6 Key Pillars of Character Building

They are ethical values to guide our choices. The standards of conduct that arise out of those values constitute the ground rules of ethics, and therefore of ethical decision-making.

The Six Pillars act as a multi-level filter through which to process decisions. So, being trustworthy is not enough ã we must also be caring. Adhering to the letter of the law is not enough ã we must accept responsibility for our action or inaction.

The six pillars can help us detect situations where we focus so hard on upholding one moral principle that we sacrifice another. As an example with the intent on holding others accountable, we ignore the duty to be compassionate; where the intent on getting a job done, we ignore how.

In short, the Six Pillars can dramatically improve the ethical quality of our decisions, and thus our character and lives. So that people can see what unites our diverse and fractured society. So we can communicate more easily about core values. So we can understand ethical decisions better, our own and those of others.

Each of our school assembly programs attempt to drive home the importance of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, citizenship.

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

2. Respect
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

3. Responsibility
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 ã consider the consequences * Be accountable for your choices

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

5. Caring
Be kind * Be compassionate and show you care * Express gratitude * Forgive others * Help people in need

6. 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


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