I was so consumed in myself and my needs that no one or nothing else was as important. I am disappointed that I hurt those that had given me nothing but love, compassion and fifth chances. I don't believe in regrets. But I do wonder what I would say to that girl if this version of me could go back to high school me.
I hope it's okay to go a bit older than people in their 40s and 50s. I'm a family sociologist at Cornell, and we surveyed over 1200 people over 60 on this very topic (described in the book 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans). Here are four "life lessons" they wanted to pass down to younger people - hope you find them helpful!
Utilitarianism says that we should always do what will have the best consequences for all those affected by our actions. "Best consequences" generally refers to well-being, in some sense, although utilitarians differ on whether this means happiness, and the reduction of suffering, or something like the satisfaction of preferences.
Ultimately, the course of earning (more) respect is entirely up to the individual and their preference of method. The truth is that some people are simply good at being bad and doing good requires hard work. Throwing your hands up in the air and saying "I give up" is much easier than resisting negativity and continuing down a more positive path.