I struggled with that question for some time. I think the words are used interchangeably but I kept ruminating as I wasn’t quite sure. What does it mean to make a promise anyway? And is it the same as making a pledge? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a promise is a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future. A pledge is defined as a serious promise or agreement. The two words are very similar but also subtly different.
To me it seems that a promise is more of a personal commitment made to yourself or another to make positive change whereas a pledge feels more formal. For instance, you could pledge to donate $50 to a charity or the US could pledge to send aid to a war-torn country.
The Choose To Be Nice promise is about making a commitment to yourself and others to be nicer, kinder, more respectful, more civil. It’s about committing to a way of “being” in the world on a daily basis. I imagine what the world might look like if everyone made the Choose To Be Nice Promise.
I promise to help spread kindness wherever and whenever possible. And to the very best of my ability, I’ll be nice to those with whom I come into contact on a daily basis.