Communicate and Criticize: A Story Based on the Bahamas Proverb
Especially for Boys

Mama and Papa Flamingo have two little flamingos:
Communicate and Criticize.
Communicate calmly communicates with his words and actions.
Criticize finds fault with every circumstance, everything and everyone.

At breakfast, Communicate says, “Thank you Mama for making such delicious johnnycakes, boiled fish and grits with honey.”
Criticize says, “I don’t like boiled fish, and the grits have too much honey.”
Papa Flamingo says, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. The more you criticize, the unhappier you will become.”
Do you think he will stop criticizing?

On the way to brush his teeth, Communicate trips over Criticize’s shoes right in the middle of the hallway.
He thinks, “I’m going to surprise Criticize by cleaning his room for him.”
As he cleans Criticize’s room he thinks about how grateful he is to have clothes to pick up, toys to pick up and a brother to play with.

Meanwhile Criticize complains to Mama Flamingo,
“Where is Communicate? He never plays with me.”
Mama says, “Have you checked his room?”
Criticize finds Communicate.
“Wow, thank you for cleaning my room! Wait. I don’t want my books on the shelves. I use my shelves for Legos.”
Communicate walks away.
Guess who has trouble making friends?

Papa Flamingo says, “Who will climb the Queen’s Staircase and visit downtown Nassau with me?”
Mama and Communicate say, “We will! What fun!”
Criticize says, “Do I have to? That’s boring. I want to go to the Pirate’s Museum instead.”
Criticize stays home.
Papa, Mama and Communicate climb the Queen’s Staircase, go to Graycliff for chocolate plus pizza, and walk on the beach before coming home.
Guess who has fun?
Guess who has none?

Mama Flamingo makes cracked conch, lobster, peas and rice for dinner.
Papa bakes his special rum cake for dessert.
Communicate sets the table. Papa rings the bell.
Criticize says, “I don’t like peas. Communicate didn’t fold the napkins right.”
Papa says, “Anyone can criticize, condemn and complain. A noble flamingo focuses on solutions instead.”

When Communicate washes the dishes, Criticize rinses them.
Criticize says, “You are the worst dishwasher. Look at all the spots you missed.”
Communicate takes the dishes back and washes them again.
Again Criticize complains, “You are the lousiest dishwasher ever!”
Communicate says, “Please show me the spots I miss.”
Mama Flamingo removes Criticize’s glasses and carefully wipes them clean.
Criticize sees that the dishes are clean. Embarrassed and ashamed, he stomps off to his room.

Papa Flamingo follows and shows Criticize Bahama’s Proverb:
When criticizing the other, you are perhaps just as guilty.

Criticize decides it’s no fun focusing on faults, criticizing and complaining.
“I’m going to admire, compliment, and encourage from now on.”

And do you know what? He isn’t Criticize anymore. He’s Mr. Encourage, and everybody likes him.