I’ve always wondered about the catalog of sins, some I’ve committed, some I’m pretty sure I haven’t, that I recite on Yom Kippur as well as the smaller version ….אָשַׁמְנוּ, בָּגַדְנוּ , גָּזַלְנוּ, which precedes תחנון, Tachanun (a portion of the daily prayer service immediately following the Amida) the rest of the year.
We usually explain this on the basis of כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה, Kol Yisrael Aravim Zeh l’Zeh, All Jews are responsible for each other. We make these formal ודוים, Viduim, confessions, as a people and not as individuals, and since some of us have transgressed in ways that others haven’t, we collectively mention them all.
I have an additional thought to offer. We are aware of only a tiny bandwidth of reality. We are able to see our actions and their effects on the world in just a very few dimensions. Nonetheless, we truly exist and effect reality in many planes. While one of our actions might cause “visible” damage in say, the אָשַׁמְנוּ, Ashamnu “channel”, it simultaneously plays out in those dimensions now hidden from us along the parameters of בָּגַדְנוּ , גָּזַלְנוּ, Bagadnu, Gazalnu and so forth.
It’s important to take care of how our actions affect our world, but it’s arrogant as well as ultimately ignorant to think that what we can perceive is all there really is. And we have no way of directly knowing the overall good or damage we do throughout the infinite universes. Some things we need to take on faith.