This article by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee in NYT magazine about a famous (or rather infamous) Dutch con man is worth reading:
‘Right away Stapel expressed what sounded like heartfelt remorse for what he did to his students. “I have fallen from my throne — I am on the floor,” he said, waving at the ground. “I am in therapy every week. I hate myself.” That afternoon and in later conversations, he referred to himself several times as tall, charming or handsome, less out of arrogance, it seemed, than what I took to be an anxious desire to focus on positive aspects of himself that were demonstrably not false.’
(Read the complete article here.)
If there’s not much to be proud of you can be proud of being tall. If you are not tall you can be proud of not being a midget. If you are a midget you can be proud of being exceptional.
Read more about this in the upcoming book by the social psychologist Yalta Carmen “Pride for the Masses – A Short History of Self-Help”.