Wisdom & Knowledge

Cognitive strengths that help us to learn, including curiosity, creativity, open-mindedness, love of learning and wisdom.


Emotional strengths that help us to overcome difficulty and achieve success, including bravery, perseverence, honesty, energy & enthusiasm.


Interpersonal strengths that help us to make friends and get along with others, including love, kindness and social intelligence.


Strengths that help us to live as part of a community, including teamwork, fairness and leadership.


Strengths that help us to moderate our impulses, including forgiveness, modesty, caution, self-control.

Meaning & Purpose

Strengths that give our lives meaning, including appreciation of beauty and excellence, thankfulness, hope, humour & playfulness and spirituality.


is a free online resource, based on the positive psychology research of Dr Christopher Peterson and Dr Martin Seligman. Positive psychology provides a language of character strengths and virtues that are valued by humans and help us to relate to each other in positive, constructive ways. Our aim is to support the development of these character strengths in young people through play and learning to improve health and well-being and promote thriving school communities.

Teenage Comic hailed as "Comedy Genius"

Britain's Got Talent, ITV, 13/04/13

"A clown is like aspirin, only he works twice as fast"

Groucho Marx

14-year-old comedian Jack Carroll uses humour and playfulness to change the way people view disability. Jack, who has cerebral palsy and uses a walking frame, joked about his condition as part of his comedy routine, when he appeared on ITV talent show, Britain's Got Talent. Jack said; "You can't ignore it and it makes me unique. It's not all about the frame, although I think initially, that makes people feel a bit more comfortable." Jack performed his first gig at 12-years-old during a party to celebrate his parents wedding anniversary. He shot to fame when he won the 'Teenager of Courage Award' at last years Pride of Britain Awards and has recieved accolades from comic royalty such as Alan Carr and Jason Manford. Britain's Got Talent judge and star of comedy series Little Britain, David Walliams was the latest star to give Jack his approval, branding Jack's audition as 'Comedy Genius'.

Lego Creations

Calderglen High School, East Kilbride, 27/03/13

Inspired by Morgan Spence's Lego animations, pupils in Mrs Murie's class at Calderglen High School dug into a big box of lego and exercised their creative talents.

Renfrewshire School Pupil Directs Music Video for Top DJ

Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, 19/03/13

Thirteen year-old Morgan Spence from Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire has risen to fame after using his creative talents and his collection of Lego to produce a music video for top DJ Paul Oakenfold. The video, which accompanies Oakenfold's new single, Who Do You Love, took over 5 months to make, using a technique known as stop-animation, the same filming process used to create the popular Wallace and Gromit series.

Morgan, who attends Johnstone High School, started making lego animations two years ago when he was in Primary 7 and has now had almost one million hits on YouTube. Morgan was approached by Paul Oakenfold's management about the project after he'd contacted the record company, asking their permission to use one of the DJ's tracks as part of an animated film he was entering in a competition.

At first, the young director was astounded. In an interview with STV, Morgan says, "I thought it was a spam email, I didn't believe it to be honest.". "I've had a love of lego since I was a toddler and I'd seen people on YouTube doing it before, so I thought I'd give it a go. I love working with cameras, filming little lego men goofing about and making people smile!"

© 2013 Morgspenny Lego Animations. All Rights Reserved.

Describing the painstaking process of making the film in an interview with Radio Clyde, Morgan says "An hour's worth of work could be a second of film, you're taking pictures as you make slight movements of characters and vehicles; there's 15 pictures for every second of film."

Morgan is nominated in the Arts category of this year's Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards, which will be held in Glasgow at the Clyde Auditorium and Crown Plaza Hotel on the 19th of April. Tickets are available by clicking here.

You can read more about the project and watch Morgan's videos on his company website, Morgspenny Productions, which includes details of how to get started making your own stop-animation film.

'Who Do You Love' (Feat. Austin Bis) is out now on Paul Oakenfold's record label, Perfecto Records.
Who Do You Love (Radio Edit) - Who Do You Love (feat. Austin Bis) - EP

Liberty Mutual Insurance Advertisement

YouTube, 6/03/13

We like this advertisement from US insurance company, Liberty Mutual, which highlights the difference made by small acts of kindness in day to day life.

© 2012 Liberty Mutual Insurance. All Rights Reserved.

The Maths of 'Pay it Forward'

Calderglen High School, East Kilbride, 4/03/13

At an assembly dedicated to the Acts of Kindness Project, first year pupils at Calderglen High School explored how even one small act of kindness can make a difference, by building relationships, encouraging to a sense of community and promoting a culture of goodwill. It's predicted that carrying out kind deeds for others will increase the likelihood that they'll do the same, leading to an exponential growth of kindness within our school community.

Hayley Joel Osment
Hayley Joel Osment in 'Pay it Forward' (Warner Bros. 2000)

We worked out that if each of the 250 pupils present at this morning's assembly did an act of kindness for three other people, a total of 750 acts of kindness would be completed.

If each of those 750 recipients were asked to do the same for another three people, a further 2250 acts of kindness would be completed.

Using some maths, we found that if this continued, 546,750 acts of kindness would be completed by the seventh step in the chain and 819,750 acts of kindness in total!

Take a closer look at our working by downloading slides from our assembly in full:


Happy Valentine's Day!

East Kilbride, 14/02/13

Love is the character strength which helps us to value relationships with others. It is part of the family of character strengths which also includes Kindness and Social Intelligence.


In celebration of Valentine's Day, we've given away hundreds of packets of Love Hearts to teachers and school staff across East Kilbride as a small token of our gratitude for their hard work. So, even if you don't send a dozen red roses this Valentine's Day, make sure you take some time to appreciate those you have around you :)

'Acts of Kindness' Project

Calderglen High School, East Kilbride, 13/02/13

In 2005, Stanford University psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky asked a group of high school students to carry out 5 weekly "random acts of kindness" of their choice over a six-week period. Lyubomirsky found that those students involved in the study reported increased happiness and wellbeing, relative to a control group. Furthermore, it was found that students performing all five acts of kindness in one day benefitted most.

These findings suggest that it is virtually impossible to help others without helping ourselves. Kind acts give us a sense of purpose and have positive social consequences, helping us to build relationships and promoting a culture of goodwill.

Inspired by Lyubomirsky's research, the staff and pupils at Calderglen High School in East Kilbride have started their own kindness project. Pupils have been given small 'act of kindness' cards, to help them notice opportunities to practise kindness and encourage others to do the same. Anyone can take part and its important to remember that even a small gesture, such as a compliment or some words of encouragement, can be enough to make someone smile. You can get your own printer- friendly versions of our cards by clicking here or you might want to design some of your own.

act of  kindness card

AoK Today!

We love to share the fun, imaginative and thoughtful ways in which people have helped others. Tell us about your Acts of Kindness, or express your gratitude, by posting a comment here on our homepage. Alternatively, if you have a picture, or photograph you'd like to post, send it to admin@characterstrengths.co.uk.

Note: Users can post anonymously if they wish, but all comments are moderated and may be edited prior to being added to the site.

Jade, East Kilbride
27/03/13, 21:23
I helped Miss Henderson with the folders.
Katie, East Kilbride
27/03/13, 12:35
Laura, Sarah and I built a lego house and a car. Some people helped us and gave us lego pieces that they didn't need :)
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Rachel, East Kilbride
27/03/13, 12:25
When it was snowing I fell and someone helped me up. It was Gemma. Thank You Gemma.
Laura, East Kilbride
27/03/13, 12:25
Someone held the door open for me today.
Georganne, Calderglen High School
27/03/13, 12:24
When I was building my lego castle, people helped me to find the bits I needed.
Beth, East Kilbride
27/03/13, 12:23
Someone held the door open for me to walk through.
Callum, East Kilbride
27/03/13, 12:22
I helped my gran with her shopping.
Ashleigh Devlin, Paisley
8/03/13, 12:46
I had my own little act of kindness today... I went for petrol and decided to buy the girls in the office a little malteaser chocoloate bunny - the kind I like! The lady in front of me had just paid for her fuel and when she turned round and saw what I was buying, she said "Oh, I wish I had picked up one of those", so I just bought her one. She was quite overwhelmed! Although it was just a little bit of chocolate and wasn't a great expense, I don't think she expected that anyone would do that. She said that it was so thoughtful and said she hoped I would have a lovely day. I was a lot more nervous than I thought I would be, but I felt really great after it. Acts of kindness should happen unexpectedly, like when you want to help someone and you act spontaneously.
James Lindsay, Hamilton
19/02/13, 15:36
Today I was queuing at the tobacco counter in the supermarket when an elderly man joined the back of the queue with only a newspaper. He was still looking about in his wallet when it was my turn to be served, so when I got my change, I gave the lady at the counter £1 back with an AoK card and said I'd like to pay for the gentleman's newspaper. She looked a bit bewildered! As I walked away, I wanted to look back, but I didn't quite have the nerve! I hope it made his day!
Julie Carmichael, Falkirk
16/02/13, 16:48
I once met a guy in a nightclub in Falkirk who asked for my number. I said no at the time, but I told my friend all about it. On the way home we saw the same guy walking home in the rain (he'd given his jacket to a friend who was cold!). My friend stopped the car to offer him a lift and gave him my number.
...Fast forward eleven years and Brian and I have been married for almost six years with a beautiful two-year old daughter to whom my friend is Godmother. Just goes to show that you never know where an act of kindness will lead! :)
Craig Thomson, East Kilbride
13/02/13, 06:45
Early this morning, I stopped to help a young man whose car had skidded in the snow. The front of the car was badly damaged and one of the tyres was completely flat, but it started the first time he tried it and I saw him back to his house, which turned out to be only a few streets away from our offices. I think he was embarrassed that I'd stopped initially, and he was shaken up from the accident but he seemed to appreciate the support. I gave him one of the AoK cards that I happened to have in the car.
Gary O'Neil, Falkirk
12/02/13, 09:07
Random act of kindness... Changed a stranger's tyre this morning as his van never had a jack. I'm on my way to work covered in dirt and oil!
Andrew Black, Ayr
12/02/13, 17:47
Just witnessed a bus driver do an act of kindness. He let an old dear who had lost her travel card on the bus for nothing. Hi5 Mr Bus Driver :)
Elise Thomson, Inverness
12/02/13, 14:48
Thank you to the bus driver of the CityLink service from Perth to Inverness on Sunday for waiting on me when the Stirling to Perth bus was late.
Lynne Crow, Perth
12/02/13, 11:25
I bought a parking ticket for a lady behind me in the car park today because I had the right change.
Norman Black, Falkirk
11/02/13, 19:03
I bought four dinner plates for my cousin and took them to her house today (I happened to know that she only had two of her set left). She was very pleased and invited me back to have a meal with her family as a "thank you".
Cora McCafferty, Ayrshire
11/02/13, 16:47
I noticed a woman struggling to hold her baby while trying to change in the swimming pool changing room last weekend. She was stressed as there wasn't a safe place to lie the wee one down, so I volunteered to hold the baby for her.
Shirley-Ann Clubb, Bonnybridge
11/02/13, 13:31
Today I let an old couple go before me in the queue as they had less items AND I helped a mother pick up all her pram and all her messages when it toppled over as she was lifting her wee baba out - quite kind :)
Deborah Anderson, Lesmahagow
10/02/13, 22:13
I gave a homeless man in Glasgow a meal from Greggs, he kept on saying "God Bless You".
Lynne Crow, Perth
10/02/13, 15:03
On Friday I let not one, but two people go before me in the check-out queue as they each only had one item. In the same supermarket I gave away two £5 off vouchers recently because they were near their use-by date. One man was very suspicious of me though!
Jared Owens, Sydney
10/02/13, 07:36
Two weeks ago I was checking into a hotel in Brisbane and the young woman ahead of me didn't have a credit card to cover incidentals, so I let her use mine. Also, random acts of kindness aren't so random, they're planned, but unexpected.
Jamie Whitsed, Aberdeen
09/02/13, 10:31
Just finished nightshift and came across a South African man in a wheelchair struggling to cross the road in Stirling at the train station traffic lights. He asked for some help across the road and I asked where he was going. He told me he was going to the barbers on Barton Street, so I helped him there and sat and waited with him till he had his haircut and then helped him back down the road again. Totally random, but it's moments like these that help you to realise how small your problems actually are.
Scott Laing, Denny
08/2/13, 13:49
I was walking down the street last month and there was an old lady standing at her front door. She asked me if I could open her tin of corned beef because it was the one you have to twist all the way around the tin with the little handle. So I did it and she was so happy because she had been waiting at her front door all morning and none of her neighbours were home. I really felt for her and I warned her to be careful of who she lets in her house, but she was more interested in getting her corned beef sandwich! I carried on with the rest of my day, a happy man.
Marc, Grangemouth
07/2/13, 18:59
One day I told a guy at my work that I was reading a book about the Rolling Stones and the next day he brought me in a huge photograph album of the band right through their career for me to keep. It'd only been a two minute conversation. Pretty cool I thought.
Marc, Grangemouth
07/2/13, 18:47
When I was about 19, someone in the car in front paid for my toll at the Forth Road Bridge. That has always stuck with me.
Elise Thomson, Inverness
07/02/13, 16:05
This week, I took every dress I own into work for a girl who had nothing to wear for a night out. I let her try them all on till she got something.
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