Editor's note: La Crescent is going through many potential changes, including a proposed community event center and new elementary school. A column noted that these are long-reaching, multifaceted issues involving many people, and while all involved would agree public discourse is vital to the various processes, it's also important to remember that discourse is better served if it's based on facts, not assumptions. The author also made three points: That a public proposal doesn't mean that it is the final version and that change, even in the slightest form, is hard to accept. His third point follows.

What might be helpful to remember in all of this, apart from saying again and again the need to show up and get involved (which every resident has the right to do), is not to jump too quickly into cliché No. 3: My voice must be heard.

All in good time. But first, it might be better to simply listen.

Everyone can have an opinion, but wouldn't it be better to have a well-informed one? Doesn't that mean, when your voice is heard, you'll be that much more reasoned and likely to be listened to?

And isn't it just possible that, before passing judgment on changes that haven't even been finalized (we'll save cynicism for another column), you might very well want to ask a few more pertinent questions before pontificating?

That requires listening - active listening, not passive listening.

Listening isn't all that hard, you know. It doesn't even require humbleness or modesty.

It just requires keeping your mouth shut and hearing what others have to say.

Then, by all means, hammer away.