Modernist manuals of writing often conflate story with conflict. This reductionism reflects a culture that inflates aggression and competition while cultivating ignorance of other behavioral options. No narrative of any complexity can be built on or reduced to a single element. Conflict is one kind of behavior. There are others, equally important in any human life, such as relating, finding, losing, bearing, discovering, parting, changing.
To consider conflict the most important or the only agent of change a writer needs to consider in plotting or writing a story is a gross oversimplification of a complex matter — and a very narrow view of what’s important in human life.