What does it mean to have good character?
Good character means that a person possesses a set of personal attributes and behaviors that are positive in nature. At PHS we take pride in having a student body that demonstrates good character. Below is a list of attributes that would be likened to a PHS student who demonstrates strong character, followed by a list of examples that help to illustrate how these character traits might look in practice:
Being accountable for your actions
Doing all of your homework assignments on time
Accepting the consequences of your decisions (good and bad)
Asking permission before going out with friends or using the computer
Trying diligently to follow the rules
Helping your mom take care of your younger brothers or sisters
Being a shoulder to cry on for a friend
Helping to raise money for school books for children in Africa (volunteering)
Saying no to drugs, even if it is tempting
Finishing all of your homework (even if you need to miss the next episode of Survivor)
Practicing your jump shot every day for a half hour to prepare for basketball season.
Showing perseverance, even when it can be really easy to give up.
Start a school initiative to “Go Green” and protect the environment
Participate in a school improvement team meeting or go to a school board meeting to advocate for an initiative to better the school environment
Serve in office or be a general participant in your student government
Participate in a community service project
Playing by the rules
Being able to listen to two quarreling friends and thoughtfully considering both sides of the argument without taking sides.
Thinking about all sides of an issue before casting blame
Being multiculturally aware and interested in learning about the unique nature of the people around you
Refraining from spreading gossip or hurtful images about others online and in school
Being tolerant of the opinions and perspectives of others, even if you do not agree with them
Follow the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated
Keeping a secret that your friend made you pinky promise not to tell (this is only a good idea if the secret is not harmful to your friend or someone else).
Demonstrate loyalty to others. This could be loyalty to friends, family, your commitments, and even your country. This trait really shows that the people around you can trust you.
Be honest- lying, cheating, stealing… those are not qualities that build trust. Honesty is the best policy and a great way to build trust.
Run for student body president
Organize a fundraiser to raise money for a cause promoted by Amnesty International
Stand up to a friend who is cyberbullying on the internet
Participate in an anti-drug campaign at your school.
Speaking up and turning down an offer to use drugs, even if it means you loose some “friends” by doing so.
Doing the right thing, even when there are consequences for you or the people around you.
Practicing what you preach- if you say tell your friends that they should become more involved in school activities, that means you should be willing to teach by example.
Why build good character?
The answer to this question seems obvious: it makes you a better person. When you are someone of good character you make the world a better place just be being a part of it. Your actions speak volumes about your ability to create positive change. You can inspire the people around you to want to get to know you and you will often be viewed as a positive role model for others. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Below are some resources that you can use to learn more about building character in yourself.
Great Books to Consider:
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by: Steven Covey
- Teens Can Make it Happen by: Stedman Graham
- Life Strategies for Teens by: Jay McGraw
- Making the Most of Today: Daily Readings for Young People on Self-Awareness, Creativity, and Self-Esteem by: Pamela Espeland and Rosemary Wallner
- What Do You Stand For? For Teens: A Guide to Building Character by: Barbara Lewis and Pamela Espeland