The way I look at it, when faced with a choice on whether to show respect for others or to bluntly insist that you are right, respect should always be the way to go.
Our society is built in such a way that we need each other’s cooperation in order for it to keep running. The only way to truly receive another’s honest cooperation is by treating them with respect.
Flip this idea around and you realize that the way to destroy a healthy society is to divide and pit each of us against one another. The most effective way to achieve that division is to get us to disrespect one other by valuing being right above being kind. The fact is that no matter how sanctimonious one can be, it will do nothing to help rescue a world that is up in flames.
It’s true that we’ve been given free will, but in order to save the world and ourselves, we need to choose kindness and respect over piety and self-righteousness.