An aside--strictly personal; I just sent this in a PM in response to the above post, and decided to put it here:
I have never seen any need for people to be mean to each other. But then, I am very fortunate in that I was raised with all kinds of examples of how to be loving, and had only the usual schoolmate meannesses to deal with. I feel sorry for people raised where the primary interaction is being mean and hurtful, because so often they never realize that there IS another way to act, and the way we act toward others has a powerful influence on the way they act toward us...which only reinforces to the ignorant person that the world is full of mean people.