Tolerance used to be the attitude that we took toward one another when we disagreed about an important issue; we would agree to treat each other with respect, even though we refused to embrace each other’s view on a particular topic. Tolerance is now the act of recognizing and embracing all views as equally valuable and true, even though they often make opposite truth claims.
Is it arrogant and intolerant to think you know the truth about something?
Why would anyone think it is? I happen to know that the potato salad is spoiled and the last three diners got sick just from eating it. Would you call me arrogant to warn others? I happen to know that the public library is this direction, but the motorist who asked me for directions is headed the other way. Would you call me intolerant to suggest that he turn around? Of course not . . .
Arrogance doesn’t come from having convictions about the truth; it comes from having the wrong convictions about how to treat people who don’t share it with you. Humility doesn’t come from not having any convictions; it comes from having the right convictions about the importance of gentleness and respect.