What or who should you revere? That is a good question you may spend a lifetime answering... From Albert Einstein:
"For the scientific method can teach us nothing else beyond how facts are related to, and conditioned by, each other. The aspiration toward such objective knowledge belongs to the highest of which man is capabIe, and you will certainly not suspect me of wishing to belittle the achievements and the heroic efforts of man in this sphere. Yet it is equally clear that knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is, and yet not be able to deduct from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations. Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source. And it is hardly necessary to argue for the view that our existence and our activity acquire meaning only by the setting up of such a goal and of corresponding values. The knowledge of truth as such is wonderful, but it is so little capable of acting as a guide that it cannot prove even the justification and the value of the aspiration toward that very knowledge of truth. Here we face, therefore, the limits of the purely rational conception of our existence.
But it must not be assumed that intelligent thinking can play no part in the formation of the goal and of ethical judgments. When someone realizes that for the achievement of an end certain means would be useful, the means itself becomes thereby an end. Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelation of means and ends. But mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends. To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations, and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to perform in the social life of man. And if one asks whence derives the authority of such fundamental ends, since they cannot be stated and justified merely by reason, one can only answer: they exist in a healthy society as powerful traditions, which act upon the conduct and aspirations and judgments of the individuals; they are there, that is, as something living, without its being necessary to find justification for their existence. They come into being not through demonstration but through revelation, through the medium of powerful personalities. One must not attempt to justify them, but rather to sense their nature simply and clearly."
On broader change to make economics work for more people, see stuff like:
On the pitfalls of academia:
There are many spheres of life. Or as another analogy, life is like a city with lots of different districts and back alleys and night clubs and homes. Even if conventional academia is not your forte, you might find others where you can build a meaningful life that is a healthy success (parenting, being a good friend or neighbor, etc.). Many inventors did not "fit in", so you might fund some other creative niche outside of the formal academic related career path.
For many people, the promise of academics has become a scam. However, diplomas are still used as gatekeepers to many jobs. For a deeper view of the scam in progress, see thsibook (free online) by John Taylor Gatto:
"Underground History of American Education"
Anyway, I sympathize with your feeling and frustrations. Even with a diploma from Princeton, same year as Michelle Obama, I have found it very difficult to do anything outside of the mainstream short-term money-focused efforts. I have been punished repeatedly in various indirect ways for trying to do worthwhile things like our free and open source garden simulator (not to say my own failings have not contributed to that too). Science itself is often biased by those pressures, as certainly is engineering. And the money focus often pushed things towards centralization rather than distributed democratic empowerment. A long essay touching on all that:
Still, people like Linus Torvalds have had good successes, so sometimes someone does succeed at a bigger effort. An in any case, there has been a lot of meaning along the way for me to try to care about bigger picture things. Yet, so often life happiness is in smaller local things that make up the fabric of our day to day existence (like friendships, joyful experiences, etc.)
And on how science goes wrong sometime from group think:
I've found James P. Hogan's sci-fi novels tobe a source of inspiration, especially "Voyage From Yesteryear" and "The Two Faces of Tomorrow". See also this:
Make sure you get the basics right, like enough vitamin D, eating fruits, vegetables and beans, avoiding junk food, getting omega-3s and iodine, and laughing, exercise like walking, building good human relationships, etc.. Otherwise, people can slide into various ailments including depression...
Remember, the woods would be pretty quiet if no bird sang there but the best. It's also true that lots of small improvements by various people can add up, like for the falling costs of solar energy. And there are many worthwhile activities to help make the world better (even just fixing or cleaning stuff):
"The Case for Working With Your Hands"
Anyway, good luck finding a healthy niche that fosters your spark into a healthy creative flame that helps light the world.
tl;dr In other words: "The Cake Is a Lie"