Conforming allows us to get along in the world and save our energy for life's more important battles. For example, we could spend our lives insisting we want to drive on the wrong side of the road or go up the down escalator. We can do both those things, because we have free will, but we will earn ourselves a good deal of grief in the process, especially if we drive on the wrong side of the road. We might ask ourselves, what is the point of not conforming to these rules, made to keep everyone safe and in order?
Asking this question, however, leads us to the negative side of conformity. Sometimes there is reason to question the rules that keep society in "order." Conformity to what hurts another group of people, for example, is unethical, even if it is legal or socially acceptable. People who stood up to slavery did so at some cost to themselves, but they helped end an unjust system. Germans have been criticized for not standing up more forcefully against the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Sometimes non-conformity is essential to fight barbarism or cruelty.