Which characteristics comprise good character? First, consider what is good character. A person's character is the pattern of how they act, think, and feel that shows they regularly choose right over wrong, moral over immoral. What is right and moral? That's where a list of positive characteristics comes in. How do we, as a society, define what is right, moral or good? While lists of good characterstics vary depending on the source, most lists of characteristics agree on certain core values that are "right" or moral. These positive characteristics appeal to the broadest range of organizations, religions, and cultures.
Looking at several leading character building organizations, we can see common themes in which traits are considered to be positive characteristics:
Common core values compiled from several lists of characteristics:
Character Counts!* list of characteristics, or Six Pillars of Character*:
Trustworthiness (includes honesty)
Caring (includes compassion and forgiveness)
Character Education Partnership, list of characteristics that are core values in society
US Department of Education, list of characteristics to be a responsible citizen:
Honesty and fairness
Respect for others
Citizenship and patriotism
*Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
More Character Trait definitions