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A promise is a statement made in which a person says that they will surely do something in the future. In reality, the person making the promise cannot possibly keep it and never actually plans to at the time the promise is made. A promise by definition is impossible to keep. But the promiser will say so anyway because they want to impress the listener well enough to get what they want in return.
Promises are often effective for the promiser in getting his/her way. They are a method of begging for what one wants from the listener. One who believes a promise is really being fooled. But a promise sounds so good, that even the wisest have the tendency to believe them.
If a person is really able to do something successfully, they will not make a promise to perform the action. They will just go ahead and do it without such a prior statement.
edit Types of promises
edit With money
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be”
One type of promise is a loan. When a person "borrows" money, s/he is really begging, supposedly in a more dignified manner. A person borrows because s/he does not have the money as things are. But who's to say that s/he ever will?
Have you ever been slapped with a notice for not paying some bill? Try to imagine this: You don't have the money to pay the bill. The late fee has been charged a long time ago. But now they are threatening hard action, such as cutting off the service, throwing you out on the street, or taking you to court? You want to avert the action. Today is Monday, and it is the day of judgment. The inevitable is going to happen today. That is, unless you pay up. But you still don't have the money, and you don't have it in site either. So what do you do now?
The answer: You beg them to give you just a few more days. You tell them that by Friday, you will make payment number one of 50%, and in two more weeks, when you claim you will get your paycheck, you will pay off the other 50%. Sure you will. There is no money coming your way any time soon. But this will buy you a few more days to drive your car before they tow it away, or to watch your favorite cable TV program.
“In sickness or health, till death do us part”
“Will you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“Will you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
We have all heard it again and again and again. I love you. You are the only one. Now get real. Seriously, how true can that be?
The most heavenly part of a relationship happens before the knot is tied. Holding one another in each other's arms. Flowers every day. All the good stuff. Something that will last forever. Or will it?
edit In politics
“Read my lips: No New Taxes”
It is common and in fact normal practice for politicians to make promises. In particular, those running in campaigns are the most guilty of all at making promises. The purpose of making a promise during a campaign is to win some votes. It works at least to some extent, and very often, it can help the candidate win the election.
Once in office, there is no turning back. The winner of the election has a guaranteed paycheck for 4 years or however long the term is.