I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.
It is a paradox that cruelty, bullying, violence and mean spiritedness are the actions of the weak; and kindness, justice, tolerance, compassion and mercy are the actions of the strong.
Shantananda Saraswati was asked about tyranny and injustice in the world and he said that cruelty, totalitarianism and evil have the outer appearance of strength; but they are in fact fragile because they are based on fear and lies and, when, like Soviet Communism, they collapse, they can do so surprisingly quickly.
On the other hand liberal democracies, with government with the consent of the governed, which have open vigorous debate, and which value free speech and the tolerance of divergent, even heretical, views, can have the appearance of chaotic weakness. But, he says, they are inwardly strong because they are based on simple principles of mutual consent, freedom and truthfulness.
At school I often point out to the children the obvious fact that no one is hurtful or a bully or mean from a position of strength. Strong and confident people have no need to be unkind or vicious. And, further, the proper response by the strong to the weak is compassion and a helping hand.