The Six Pillars of Character®

The Six Pillars of Character

The Six Pillars of Character is a framework for teaching good character and is composed of six ethical values (characteristics) everyone can agree upon: Trustworthiness; Respect; Responsibility; Fairness; Caring; and Citizenship. Each of the six character traits are used within our CHARACTER COUNTS! program to help instill a positive learning environment for students and a “culture of kindness” making schools a safe environment for students to learn. The Six Pillars of Character values are not political, religious, or culturally biased. In fact, every year since 1995 our program has been officially recognized and endorsed by the U.S. Senate and The President of the United States.


Use the mnemonic acronym of T.R.R.F.C.C. to help remember each pillar.

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  • Trustworthiness


    Think ``true blue`` • 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 • Be diligent • Persevere • Do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act • 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 • Be charitable and altruistic

  • 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

Suggested startup materials

All CHARACTER COUNTS! branded materials use the Six Pillars common language. To help promote these shared values in your school, workplace or community, consider displaying purchasing awareness products for students or items such as posters or banners as visible reminders. Businesses should consider purchasing our Making Ethical Decisions booklets for employees or browse our available book titles.

Questions about our program?
Email us or call us toll-free to speak to a CHARACTER COUNTS! specialist: 800-711-2670.

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