Moving past Shakespeare, I remember vividly other poems and passages, even though I read them years ago. The first is "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. The closing lines of this poem are:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all of the difference.
This speaks to my need to believe in the power of choice, and that, if I make healthy choices for myself, I will live successfully. The enduring popularity of this poem suggests its message resonates similarly with others.
On a more whimsical note, A.A. Milne opens Winnie-the-Pooh with:
Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. And then he feels that perhaps there isn't.
This passage provides an eloquent metaphor for the work of psychotherapy. Our patients struggle to find a better way to cope with life's problems, sometimes hopefully and other times with resignation.
Stephen White wrote in the opening page of his novel Critical Conditions (1998; Delacorte Press):
I hold the hands of people I never touch. I provide comfort to people I never embrace. I watch people walk into brick walls, the same ones over and over again and I coax them to turn around and try to walk in a different direction.