In the Dungeon Master’s Guide I’m reading, it offers suggestions on how to keep players interested through the sense that their world is being impacted by their choices. Also, that the world is not a static environment and events occur that are entirely unrelated to the players, but that they must deal with. These changes create a need and desire to strive and to engage with adventure.
There’s also a reminder that everyone’s world is different and even differently sized. What is cataclysmic to one character may be inconsequential to another. Only group bonds and empathy create a shared drive to help the afflicted.
This reverberates with our real world, of course.