"There is nothing in the universe that I fear,
but that I shall not know all my duty,
or shall fail to do it."
Mary Lyon
(1797-1849) American pioneer in the field of higher education for women
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Reader comments about this quote:
"all my duty", ? ? ? or "shall fail to do it". ? ? ? In context, it may reference one's moral imperative to a noble intent BUT !, duty ? ? ? Duty would imply an obligation. Duty to whom, what or why? Is duty complementary to fear? How is duty and fear related?
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    This is an excellent quote for all those freedom and liberty zealots who think those things are free.
     -- Tim, Cadillac     
    Mike has a point -- 'duty' implies an obligation. However, it is not clear whether this 'duty' is imposed by an external authority or self imposed as a representation of one's own personal stand. And the 'fear', again, is it due to an external authority or or simply the anxiety of not fulfilling the personal goal? This quote can be used to support statist and religious authority or to support individual commitment and the responsibilities that come with it.

    Essentially she is saying that she fears nothing other than to not know the right thing to do, and therefore not do it. What is 'right'? Is it a 'duty'? And who says so? That is the next question.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- jim k, Austin      
    Jonathan Edwards, comes to mind, The " enlightenment ". Lyon, championing a movement of education for the poor and less fortunate women at the time. Teaching, self-restraint, self-denial, and disinterested benevolence. Newton and other like minded individuals challenging, then, the current line of authority. Many great revivals had begun. Lyon, knowing, some ministers, teachers ordained of God, being given a " Charge " responsibility for the blood of the individual not informed of Liberty. " There is nothing in the universe that I fear " Perfect love casteth out all fear. " But that I shall not know all my duty " She was very close to the ministry, but not given a " Charge ". " Or shall fail to do it " Lyon's denominational roots are as my own. As my fathers family, establishing many years before, one of the first churches in the Appalachian region. Lyon fearing nothing, other than the completion of her own Responsibility to Oath and Country under God's Guidance. Championing the new intellect of the age to come. Quite a remarkable Woman, to say the lest !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
    I know of one other Woman of such statue, my Teachers wife, Bernice Moore, she is now 93 years old. God Bless her. Amen
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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