Motivational speaker and former professional baseball player Chris Singleton spoke at the Athens-Clarke County Library on Thursday, March 31. Singleton spoke about the importance of forgiveness, performed a reading of his children’s book, “Different: A Story About Loving Your Neighbor,” and answered questions from the crowd.
Singleton’s appearance attracted an audience of roughly 20 people, some who were familiar with Singleton and others who weren’t. Attendee Shannon Derrick came because she saw signs advertising the event in the library. Derrick brought her daughter with her to hear Singleton speak.
“We come to the library a lot and I just saw a sign for it,” Derrick said. “I thought it would be a good thing because my daughter’s 10 and it would be a good thing for her to come and get exposed to it and listen to a speaker because she likes to write a lot and I thought it might be interesting for her to hear an author speak.”
During his lecture, Singleton brought up one of the children in the audience to assist with his book reading. Derrick enjoyed this part of the lecture because of how parts of the book were explained.
“By just reading the book, you can’t always express what’s happening compared to when the person who wrote the book reads it,” Derrick said. “They can emphasize the things that are supposed to be emphasized.”
Despite Singleton being a renowned speaker, audience members were still surprised by and enjoyed his speaking style. 10-year-old Mika Derrick thought his confidence and ability to talk about difficult situations was interesting.
“I think it was great how he could really talk naturally about [his experiences],” Mika Derrick said.
Audience members weren’t the only people who enjoyed Singleton’s talk, as the library’s staff also were present for his lecture. The Athens Regional Library System’s public information officer Rhiannon Eades was very pleased with how the event turned out.
“I thought it was great. [Singleton is] a great speaker,” Eades said. “He can tailor his message to both adults and children, and I think he did a good job with that.”
For some the lecture inspired them to follow up on some of Singleton’s other books and projects. Shannon Derrick is interested in reading some of his other books.
“I would be interested to read his other books that he has, especially if they have them at the library,” Shannon Derrick said. “I’d be interested to learn about the adult book that he’s writing.”