“Silence is golden.” So goes the familiar adage. Is silence really golden? Sometimes it is. It’s golden when we don’t say all the words of anger or self-justification that may erupt from within us. We breathe a sigh of relief when silence protects us from speaking rashly. However, there is another, much less “golden” side to silence. This is the silence that arises from fear: the fear to voice a minority opinion, or the fear that keeps us from speaking out against the cruelty and injustice we see in the world around us. If we are silent in the face of human suffering—starvation, exploitation and poverty, we are doing nothing less than affirming these things. History demonstrates the high cost of silence—Auschwitz, Apartheid, Rwanda—are prime examples. The psalmist says we must learn when to speak and when to be silent. It is a foremost lesson for our times.