Given the economic downturn, I found this article in the NY Times very interesting. It discusses the purpose and benefits of the emotion "pride". Men are well aware of the emotion - and what the lack of it means - often experienced if only privately in the emotional tumult of divorce. It is worth reading but here is the "closer":
Pride, in short, begets perseverance. All of which may explain why, when the repo man is at the door, people so often remind themselves that they still have theirs, and that it’s worth something. Because they do, and because it is.